Increased gender parity and equality can lead to a 35% growth in the national economy.
Rabat – Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Othman El Ferdaous, said that improved recognition of equality between men and women will contribute to the economic growth of the country.
Speaking during a seminar to celebrate Women’s International Day on Monday, El Ferdaous cited the International Monetary Fund (FMI) to emphasize the importance of Moroccan women’s contribution to the country’s economy.
The official said improved gender equality could contribute to Morocco’s gross domestic products (GDP) by more than 35%.
The culture department launched different projects that align with developing the image of women in Morocco, this includes spreading a culture of respect for women’s rights, and raising awareness to fight violence against women, the official emphasized.
He also recommends stay-at-home women pay attention to modern trends such as online work to improve their income.
The National Press Council (CNP) organized a seminar on Monday to celebrate International Women’s Day under the theme “The image of women in the media” where various media and political figures were invited to discuss gender parity and equality, and the integration of a gender approach into the society.
Younes Mjahed, the president of the CNP, expressed how media outlets portray successful women as a significant development of the image of Moroccan women. Although this is a positive action for Mjahed, he questions the efficiency of such an approach to measure the real development that has been made in terms of women’s social inclusion.
Bassima Hakaoui, former minister of solidarity, social development, equality, and family, focused on Morocco’s progress at the legislative and institutional levels in respecting women’s rights, noting the 2011 constitution and article 19 which define the steps that must be taken to achieve parity. “The Family Code has also shifted the patterns of the image of women,” she adds.
Amina Benkhadra, executive director of the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), declared a decrease from 29% in 2011 to 21% today in women’s activities since Morocco does not hold advanced positions on issues related to gender and women’s economic participation. She comments, “there is still a lot of work to do and the media plays an indispensable role in influencing people’s perception.”
Fathia Elaouni, chairwoman of the standing committee of Pan-African Women, states that the lack of women’s figures in politics makes it difficult to include them in social dialogue, indicating that “political parties haven’t done much to immerse women in communication.”
The media industry is no different than the rest. The CNP 2020 data reveals that “among 2, 928 press cards issued to professional journalists last year, only 831 women figure in the list.”
With only 53 women journalists back in the 80s, many are “satisfied” with the recent number. However, Bahia Amrani, executive director of the “Le reporter” group, believes that the progress in the profession is still too slow to reach equality, with only 28% of females in 2020.
Morocco registers a success rate of girls in the baccalaureate exam ten points higher than that of boys, however, the rate declines in the labor market. El Ferdaous explains that despite the educational and academic qualifications women possess, a strong factor such as taking care of a newborn baby, causes the rate to decrease.
The speakers emphasize creating opportunities to promote equal access to the job market and to enhance social dialogue between the different components of society.
A recent UNESCO study highlights Morocco’s records of the highest female graduates in the field of engineering worldwide, with a total of 42.2%.
Gender stereotypes persist in promoting inequality and in setting a backdrop for discrimination in Morocco. Despite continuous efforts and progressive progress, women’s position in the professional field still needs reinforcement to reach approximate equality.