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Rabat – Morocco’s fight for gender equality, much-lauded by local politicians, has not been overly effective according to the 2021 Global Gender Gap Report, which ranked Morocco 144th globally.
The annual study, conducted by the World Economic Forum, “benchmarks the evolution of gender-based gaps” across four-axes, that of economic participation and opportunity, health and survival, availability of education, and political empowerment.
According to the study, another generation of women will have to wait for gender parity, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have set back achieving gender parity from 99.5 years to 135.6 years.
Compared to last year’s study, Morocco has moved down one place, ranking 144th out of 156 countries total, and 12th in the MENA region. In Morocco, only 23.4% of women participate in the labor force, compared to the MENA average of 31%. Furthermore, in the North African country, 87.2% of all managerial positions are staffed by men.
Looking at Morocco across the four axes, it has scored the best in political empowerment, ranking 113th globally. In educational attainment, Morocco ranks 116th, while when it comes to health and survival, it ranks 129th. In terms of overall economic participation and opportunity, Morocco ranks 148th.
The index also notes that 30% of all women in Morocco have experienced gender-based violence in their lifetimes.
The study notes that MENA “continues to have the largest gender gap (39.1%) yet to be closed” globally. Due to the wide economic gender gap, the index notes that it will take 142.4 years to close the gender gap in the region.
The pandemic has also had a disproportionate effect on women, as they lost jobs at higher rates than men (5% compared to 3.9%), while the data also shows that women are being hired at a slower rate across several industries.
The World Economic Forum also draws attention to the fact that as lockdowns came into effect, and care establishments were closed, housework, care for the elderly, and childcare responsibilities all fell disproportionately on women.