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Key findings
  • Educational achievement is fairly equal among men and women in Morocco.
  • With the exception of mobile phones and computers, women trail men in the ownership of key assets that the survey asked about: motor vehicles (24% vs. 57%), bank accounts (42% vs. 65%), televisions (68% vs. 84%), and radios (41% vs. 57%).
  • Women are more than twice as likely as men to defer to their spouses or other family members regarding financial decision making in the household (38% vs. 14%).
  • Fewer than four in 10 Moroccans (36%) say women should have the same rights as men to jobs, and only 42% say women should have equal rights to own or inherit land. o Women and men differ sharply in their views on equality in hiring and land ownership. o Moroccans cite inequality in workplace opportunities or pay as the most important women’s-rights issue that their government and society must address.
  • More than six in 10 Moroccans (62%) say women should have the same chance as men of being elected to public office. o But while 87% of citizens think a woman will gain standing in the community if she runs for office, 46% think it’s likely she will be criticised or harassed, and 35% say she will probably face problems with her family.
  • A majority (63%) of respondents say the government is doing a “fairly good” or “very good” job of promoting equal rights and opportunities for women. Women and less educated, rural, and poor citizens are less likely to approve of the government’s performance.
  • About four in 10 citizens (39%) say the government should do more to promote women’s rights and opportunities. o Women are about twice as likely as men to call for more government action in promoting women’s rights and opportunities (51% vs. 27%).

The Global Gender Gap Index considers Morocco to be among the countries with the widest gender gaps, ranking it 136th out of 146 countries (World Economic Forum, 2023). While Morocco ranked 90th in political empowerment, it performed worse on the other indicators:  141st in economic participation and opportunity, 130th in health and survival, and 115th in educational attainment. 

Article 19 of Morocco’s Constitution highlights the country’s commitment to ensuring full gender equality (Constitute Project, 2011). The United Nations (2023) confirms that the country has made significant progress in gender equality, with a decrease in child marriages and improvements in girl-child education and women’s political leadership. However, economic and political gender gaps persist, fuelled by discriminatory laws and social norms. For example, women hold only 24% of parliamentary seats, and only 5.4% of firms have women in top management positions (Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2023; World Economic Forum, 2023). 

This dispatch reports on a special survey module included in the Afrobarometer Round 9 (2021/2023) questionnaire to explore Africans’ experiences and assessments of gender equality.  

Survey findings show that fewer than half of Moroccans endorse women’s right to equal opportunity in hiring and land ownership – issues on which women and men hold very different views. And while a majority say women should have the same chance as men of being elected to political office, almost half say women who run for office are likely to be criticised or harassed. 

Even though women are just as educated as men, unequal opportunities and pay in the workplace is the most frequently cited women’s-right issue that the country must address.  Gender gaps also persist in ownership of certain key assets and autonomy in financial decision making.  

Women are less likely than men to approve of the government’s performance on promoting equal rights and opportunities and are considerably more likely to say the government need to do more. 

Mhammed Abderebbi

Mhammed Abderebbi is the national investigator for Morocco.

Josephine Appiah-Nyamekye Sanny

Josephine is Afrobarometer's acting director of communications.