For several years, the Moroccan State has made continuous efforts for the empowerment and integration of women into political life. Through many legal measures, the representation of women in elected bodies has increased, and they have greater access to political decision-making positions, including at the local level.
However, women’s participation in politics is linked to economic, political, cultural and social factors, and many obstacles prevent women from fully playing their role in local and regional authorities, such as widespread illiteracy and gender-based violence. Although several laws promoting gender equality have been put in place, it is necessary to make these laws known to the public and to raise the awareness of elected women themselves.
With this in mind, the Tazghart association conducted a field diagnosis on the role of elected women in Ifrane province (Morocco) during the pilot mobilization action of equality actors. This study directly involved local government officials, representatives of civil society, the media, unions and local authorities, and 29 women elected and / or members of the bodies of Equity, Equal Opportunities and Gender Approach (IEECG).
Between March and May 2018, several activities took place such as a diagnostic launching seminar, two focus groups to deepen and finalize the first results, as well as a brainstorming workshop with members of the local cluster (the local union of the Moroccan Union of Labor, the Provincial Media Observatory, the Moroccan Center for Youth and Democratic Transitions, the local and provincial authorities of Ifrane and the Moroccan Federation of Human Rights.Tazghart also participated in a radio interview (in Arabic and Amazigh) regarding this topic.
After these consultations, Tazghart identified a series of obstacles to women’s participation in public life:
. Weakness of democratic practice within political parties;
. Failure of political parties to pay attention to women, lack of communication and lack of mobilization for citizen participation;
. Lack of training of elected women;
. Weak capacities in the development and implementation of municipal action plan budgets;
. Lack of communication, coordination and sharing of experiences among elected women;
. Lack of knowledge of advocacy and networking techniques.
To provide an answer, Tazghart will carry out a field project from August to November 2018 aimed at strengthening the capacity of 30 elected women from 7 municipalities in the province of Ifrane. The project includes several training workshops on regulatory texts, the implementation of a communal action program, leadership and advocacy, as well as regional meetings on participatory democratic mechanisms and their implementation. Through the project it is expected that women can improve their interventions in the management of local authorities and the activation of the bodies of IEECG in communities targeted by the project.
This initiative is part of the field projects developed by the local clusters of gender equality actors© set up by the Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation since 2015. It is part of the "Reinforcing the capacity of equality actors" project, funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and coordinated by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). This action is also part of the project "Developing women’s empowerment", labeled by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
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 Europe and Foreign Affairs 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.