What BAM offers to raise the activity rate of women

The structural weakness of female activity, a characteristic that the Kingdom shares with other countries in the MENA region, is mainly attributable to family responsibilities related to child rearing and domestic chores.

The strengthening of women’s participation in the labor market remains dependent on a strong and sustainable economic dynamic. To bring its activity rate to its 1999 level (26.9%), over a five-year horizon, BAM estimates that it will be necessary to create no less than 219,000 net new jobs annually for women alone. Similarly, to reach the average of 33.1% for lower-middle-income countries, 404,000 jobs had to appear annually. Or the national economy has generated on the whole, men and women, only 32,000 annual jobs over the last five years.

The integration of women into economic activity is one of the great challenges for social and economic policies in Morocco. Beyond the incentive, promotion and awareness-raising policies, the strengthening of its participation in the labor market remains dependent first and foremost on a strong and sustainable economic dynamic capable of absorbing the additional flows that would be generated by the improvement in its activity rate. The conclusion is from Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) in its 2021 annual report. For the Issuing Institute, in addition to the social and psychological impacts, the exclusion of women has a “considerable” economic cost. The Central Bank, citing a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), indicates that reducing the labor force participation gap between men and women in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region by three times twice the average for emerging and developing markets would have doubled the pace of growth in this region over the previous decade. This would have generated a cumulative gain of 1,000 billion dollars.

The Covid-19 crisis has been there!

According to the Central Bank, the vulnerability of female employment will have been accentuated by the Covid-19 crisis in 2022. The recovery in 2021 will have been only partial, thus making the challenge even more difficult for the public authorities . To bring the female activity rate to its 1999 level, ie 26.9%, over a five-year horizon, BAM estimates that it will have to create no less than 219,000 net new jobs annually for women alone. Similarly, to reach the average of 33.1% for lower-middle-income countries, 404,000 jobs had to appear annually. However, the national economy has generated overall, men and women, only 32,000 annual jobs over the last five years, knowing that the pace of growth and its employment content have experienced a certain deceleration in recent years.

In Morocco, women represent just over half of the population, i.e. 18.2 million people in 2021. Nearly 13.8 million of them are of working age. One downside: they remain poorly qualified with a proportion of 46.1% illiterate and largely absent from the job market. Indeed, four out of five women of working age are inactive. A proportion paradoxically on an upward trend despite the relative improvement in their level of education, underlines BAM. The structural weakness of female activity, a characteristic that the Kingdom shares with other countries in the MENA region, is mainly attributable to family responsibilities related to child rearing and domestic chores. Even when they enter the labor market, women find it difficult to access employment, their unemployment rate having been in 2021 at 16.8% at the national level. A part which reaches 41.9% for young people aged 15 to 24 and 32.8% for higher education graduates. The latter in particular face the absence or insufficiency of jobs corresponding to their qualifications or their aspirations and to the demanding criteria of the offers available.




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