The agency expects to reach 700 contracts for women who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Provincial authorities of Morocco’s M’diq-Fnideq and the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Competencies (ANAPEC) are advancing their agreement to help women facing economic hardship.
So far, the agreement has produced 650 contracts as part of the integrated program of economic and social development of the prefecture of M’diq-Fnideq and the province of Tetouan in northern Morocco.
According to the Agency for the Promotion and the Development of the North (APDN), these contracts will provide women with jobs in industrial units specializing in textile recycling.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people in economic distress. In M’diq-Fnideq, Northern Morocco, a large portion of the population has relied heavily on the economic activity generated at the crossing point with the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.
Many women in the region used to carry goods across the border. Up until 2018, they were referred to as “women mules.” A derogatory term that describes the inhumane aspect of this job. These women used to carry heavy loads on their backs from the tax-free Spanish territory to the entry points of the Moroccan territory.
The Tradesmen Association of Sebta intervened to end this phenomenon and issued a statement to denounce it. “It is no longer acceptable to see images of women carrying heavy loads on their backs like mules, it’s inhuman,” they said.
The women were able to carry on with their practices, but were urged to use rolling carts.
The pandemic unfortunately put an end to their livelihood as quarantines were put in place and stricter border control stopped their economic activity.
The informal sector was one of the most impacted parts of the Moroccan economy. Thankfully, initiatives such as the one set up by ANAPEC and the APDN can serve as an easing agent amid the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.