Morocco comes behind only Malta and Israel in the MENA region in terms of ensuring gender equality, according to a new World Bank Report.
Rabat – The World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2019 report published on February 27 ranked Morocco third of Middle Eastern and North African countries in terms of gender equality in law and business.
The report assessed gender discrimination in 187 countries and tracked their legal progress in the past decade.
In the MENA region, Morocco ranked third, securing 73.13 points out of 100, behind Malta with 91.88 and Israel with 80.63.
Tunisia, (58.75), Algeria (57.50), Libya (56.25), and Egypt (50.63) followed.
The results were based on a number of indicators, including women’s freedom of movement, laws affecting women’s decisions to enter the labor market, laws affecting occupational segregation and the gender wage gap, and protection from sexual harassment.
In September 2018, Morocco’s new Law 103-13 to eliminate violence against women, sexual harassment, and gender-based discrimination took effect. The law promises prison sentences ranging from one to six months for people who sexually harass women in public spaces.
Other indicators included marriage laws, laws affecting women’s work after pregnancy, constraints to women starting and running businesses, gender differences in property and inheritance law, and laws affecting the size of a woman’s pension.
The MENA countries made the least progress in gender equality, with an average increase of just 2.86 points to 47.37 in the past decade.
Meanwhile, Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden were the top countries in terms of women’s rights.
Kristalina Georgieva, the bank’s interim president, stated: “Gender equality is a critical component of economic growth.” She continued, “Women are half of the world’s population and we have our role to play in creating a more prosperous world. But we won’t succeed in playing it if the laws are holding us back.”