The two countries have signed several cooperation agreements and memorandums to boost areas pertaining to education, planning, gender, and diplomacy.
Rabat – The Moroccan and Malagasy foreign ministries have signed a cooperation agreement to enhance gender equality and an agreement on youth and sports cooperation.
Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and Malagasy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andriantsitohaina Franck Michel Naina signed nine agreements in total on Tuesday, March 26, during the first session of the Morocco-Madagascar Joint Cooperation Committee in Marrakech.
Bourita and Naina signed agreements on the promotion of gender equality, combating sexual discrimination in education and the job market, and preventing violence against women.
Madagascar may have useful experience to share with Morocco regarding gender equality. In the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, Madagascar ranked 84th out of 149 countries, whereas Morocco ranked 137th. The report focuses on the gender gap between men and women across four key areas: Health, education, economy, and politics.
According to the the OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index, Madagascar enshrined equality between the sexes in its constitution and amended its family code to raise the age of marriage from 14 for women and 17 for men to 18 for both sexes in 2007.
In a 2019 World Bank analysis, however, Morocco scored slightly better (73.13) than Madagascar (71.88). The analysis studied 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 implemented Law 103-13, which criminalizes violence and sexual discrimination against women and can bring up to one year imprisonment, for example, in cases of street harassment of forced underage marriage.
The two countries also signed action programs on youth and sports for the next two years, allowing people to take part in artistic and cultural events. It will also facilitate access for Malagasy students and teaching staff to use sports training institutes in Morocco.
The committee’s first session also saw the signing of cooperation agreements and MOUs on diplomat training, scientific research, scholarships, internships, urban planning and housing policy, and decentralization.