How do we measure discrimination against women and strengthen professional equality in the public sector? What is the impact of gender parity in the public action? Between the 14th and 15th of December 2017, we participated in a seminar on "Indirect Discrimination in the Public Service" that was organized in Rabat (Morocco) by the Gender Diversity and Governance Network around the Mediterranean (Réseau Mixité et Gouvernance - M&G). The M&G network highlights the role of women in public administration and the importance of gender diversity in public decision-making processes. It brings together women who hold high-level positions in public administrations of Euro-Mediterranean countries (Egypt, France, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Slovenia, and Tunisia). Members of the M&G network meet regularly to take a stand on public policies - not just women’s issues - and make recommendations in areas such as employment, migration, gender-sensitive budgeting, etc.
The Rabat seminar was devoted to the masked discrimination that persists in most countries despite the laws and measures that governments employ to achieve parity. Gender-based discrimination in the public service prevails in organizational practices, for example, in some selection boards. They impede women’s access to the highest positions, promotions or bonuses for certain positions. Recent studies such as the "Report on Discrimination in the Public Service in France" and "The Economic Cost of Discrimination" (available in the Documentary Center) have shown that discrimination between women and men also represents a loss of economic value at the national level.
The seminar resulted in number of recommendations addressed to policy makers, such as:
Our Foundation was introduced to members of the M&G network to encourage exchanges between senior women public servants, public policy practitioners, researchers and experts in the Euro-Med region. Many efforts are yet to be made to ensure that gender diversity is perceived as a sign of good governance. In fact, respect for parity fosters the emergence of more gender-sensitive public policies in all sectors, including the budget or finance ministries.
The seminar was organized by the Moroccan Network Mixité et Gouvernance with the support of the Moroccan Ministry of the reform, the administration and the public service; the Moroccan Ministry of the economy and the finances, and of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 “Strengthening the capacities of equality actors” of the Priority Solidarity Fund “Women for the future in the Mediterranean” funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women’s Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.