Women in Morocco, without parity or power

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Women in Morocco, without parity or power







© Provided by Agencia EFE



Rabat, Sep 24 (EFE) .- The Moroccan Constitution of 2011 stipulated for the first time the promotion of parity, but, almost a decade later, that principle has remained on paper and women find all kinds of obstacles to access positions of responsibility and power.

The latest initiative to reverse this situation has been the “Mounasafa gave (Parity now)” committee, made up of human rights activists who have called on the President of the Government, Saadedín Otmani, and the political parties to accelerate the implementation of this mechanism. constitutional principle.

In the political sphere, the country is far from reaching parity: there are only 4 women among the 23 ministers that make up the current government, two regional presidents (out of a total of 12) and 81 deputies (out of 359) of the Parliament, of those of which two thirds were compulsorily chosen by the quota system.

AN INVISIBLE STRATEGY OF CORNERING

But it is in the professional sphere where the outlook is more difficult and it costs women more to break the “glass ceiling” to access positions of responsibility in a country where their presence in the world of work is increasingly clear.

It is enough to visit any Moroccan public office, company or factory to verify the high and outstanding number of women: workers, assistants, secretaries and small civil servants are abundant, but the female presence becomes more rare at the highest levels.

Experts denounce an environment hostile to female promotion and the absence of incentives, in addition to the structural obstacles in society that prevent women from evolving.

A cardiac surgeon in Rabat identified as MI explains the difficulties her male colleagues impose on her to practice a profession that has traditionally been occupied by men.

The surgeon tells Efe that there is a kind of “invisible strategy” to prevent her from practicing surgery, seeing herself relegated to auxiliary tasks within the operating room.

“A colleague told me one day that there is a (tacit) agreement to first eliminate women in a very competitive environment. When I hear the debates on parity I laugh,” explained IM, who currently has two cases open before the justice for “gender discrimination” that he claims to suffer.

IM maintains that, faced with these difficulties, other colleagues have changed or abandoned the race along the way or have settled for the situation.

“WITH THIS JOB, YOU ARE NOT GETTING MARRIED”

The case of the surgeon is one more example of women who in other areas are prevented from advancing towards positions of responsibility despite their high qualifications.

The figures speak for themselves: only 20% of women hold decision-making positions in the public administration, 17.3% of women run companies and there are only two principals in the twelve public universities in the country.

For the Moroccan expert on gender and equality issues, Amal el Idrissi, the professional environment has been established under “masculine norms”, which means that there is “unfair competition” between the two genders.

“When a woman reaches a position of responsibility, she sees the permanent need to justify her qualities, which is not necessary for a man,” Idrissi lamented.

The expert also recalls that the environment is not very favorable for the promotion of women due to the lack of incentives for family conciliation and, above all, social and cultural pressure.

“With this job you are not going to get married”; “You are going to lose your femininity”; “Who will take care of your children?”; “It’s not time to go home for a woman” are some of the comments that any applicant for a position of responsibility receives.

“Let’s face it, the moral responsibility of the family falls on the woman, which is a bond for her before her professional promotion,” Idrissi said.

Several women consulted by Efe recognized that they shy away from positions of responsibility because they cannot combine their work and family life.

Idrissi believes that promoting a more women-friendly environment that responds to their needs (such as childcare in workplaces) could help women advance in their work.

During the last two decades, which coincide with the reign of Mohamed VI, progress has been made in the legislative sphere: women can now travel and work without authorization from the guardian (father or husband), they can divorce and also have laws against harassment or gender violence.

But this has not been transferred to the workplace nor has it managed to change structural discrimination.

“I feel that we are taking one step forward and another backward. The problem is that mentalities have not changed much,” Parliamentarian and renowned trade unionist Touria Lahrach told Efe.

Fatima Zohra Bouaziz

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(c) EFE Agency

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