Despite favorable frameworks to equal opportunities in terms of access to political and governance structures in Morocco, women’s presence and effective participation in elected positions in local authorities remain below expectations, especially in rural areas.
A recent field diagnosis by Tazghart Association indicates that women represent 22% of elected representatives in the province of Ifrane. Unfortunately, few of them are mayors or deputy mayors of municipal councils. This is due to a wide range of cultural, social and political challenges. For instance some stereotypes related to women’s roles and capacities pave the way for gender-based discrimination in professional life and discourage women from engaging in the public sphere. On the other hand, the diagnosis highlighted several observations related to political and partisan practices and knowledge, such as:
To address this issue, Tazghart Association started a field project to strengthen the capacity of elected women in Ifrane province and women active in the “Bodies of Equity, Equal Opportunities and Gender Approach” (Instances de l’Equité, de l’Egalité des Chances et de l’Approche Genre – IEECG en français).
Between August and September 2018, 30 women participated in six workshops tackling regulatory texts and their relations with field development actors; gender and equality approaches and institutional communication; local authorities’ management mechanisms; functional committees and administrative system; municipal budgets and action programs; as well as on leadership and advocacy and networking techniques.
Besides these workshops, a round table on the latest constitutional and legal developments related to participatory democratic mechanism was held on 20 October 2018. It counted on the participation of eminent activists and figures such as Hayat Ndeichi, feminist and legal activist in the city of Meknes, Nihad Saffi, president of the Female Councillors of the region Fes-Meknes Association and councillor of the local authority of Chaqf, Zazieh Bughadi, councillor at the local authority of Bufikra and El Hassan Haji, from the Association Youth without Borders.
These activities were covered by various media and social media outlets. They involved more than 60 people, including representatives of unions, cooperatives, associations and local authorities, and laid the groundwork for the creation of a network of elected women committed to equality in Ifrane. The project’s results were also presented during the 3rd edition of the “Etats Généraux de la culture au Maroc” (General States of Culture in Morocco) which took place in Tiznit in November 2018.
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.