Integration of the gender approach in Moroccan economic and social policy

Project description

Title: Integration of the gender approach in Moroccan economic and social policy
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Morocco
Lead executing agency: Ministère du Développement Social, de la Famille et de la Solidarité
Overall term: 2003 to 2013


Moroccan society is characterised by marked social and economic inequality between men and women. Women are frequently unable to exercise human rights such as the right to education, employment, property and the right to a life free of violence and coercion. Until recently, women were also largely excluded from political decision-making processes. In terms of gender development, Morocco is ranked 149th out of 158 countries.

Since 1999, Morocco has been undergoing a social modernisation process, during the course of which important gender equality reforms were set in motion. In 2004, the civil status law (Moudawana) was modernised and the position of women in the family strengthened. The Moroccan government passed a national gender strategy in 2007 with the aim of bringing about equality between men and women. The strategy is to be implemented from 2011 to 2015 within the framework of a national agenda.


Gender-sensitive planning of economic and social policy at national and regional level helps to overcome social and economic inequality between men and women. The gender approach is implemented in the policies and programmes of selected institutions in the public and private sectors as well as of NGOs.


Project activities are aimed at all levels and cover policy and institutional advice as well as support for civil society and the private sector.

The project supports implementation of the national policy for gender equality and the corresponding Action Plan 2011 – 2015 developed by the Moroccan Government. In particular, it helps develop and use suitable monitoring and evaluation systems. Training increases the capacities of partners and mediators to develop methodological approaches and carry out implementation steps. The project facilitates exchange and networking between the various governmental and non-governmental actors and makes expertise available.

In addition to the social ministry as main partner, the finance ministry, labour ministry, modernisation ministry, the l’Agence de Développement Social (Agency for Social Development) and the NGO network Espace Associatif are important project partners. Other civil society organisations are also supported.

Results achieved so far

Since June 2003, against the background of public debate on gender equality in the reform of the marital status law, the project has helped draft a national gender strategy, which was adopted in 2007. This was specified in a National Agenda 2011 – 2015, which twenty-five ministries are involved in implementing. Gender equality initiatives now take place within a coordinated strategic framework.

The project assisted in developing and implementing an ethics charter by the political parties in 2009. Through the successful introduction of a quota, the proportion of women elected in the 2009 municipal elections rose from 0.56 % to 12 %.
In order to tackle the shortage of qualified personnel in the field of gender and policymaking, the project has helped set up a corresponding masters course at the Mohamed V University in Rabat. It was able to win the support of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) for the course. The third training cycle has already kicked off and demand among applicants is high.

The Agency for Social Development, which receives support from the project, hired additional staff to deal with gender issues and now systematically pursues a gender-sensitive approach to formulating and implementing its programmes.

45 of the non-governmental organisations from the Espace Associatif network which receive assistance from the project have introduced gender indicators in planning and implementation as well as in monitoring and evaluating their activities.

11 large firms and 20 small and medium-sized enterprises fulfil the criteria of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) label for gender equality at work, which endorses socially responsible management.