Morocco Does Better than the World Average

Morocco is doing well in the latest World Bank report entitled “Women, Business and the Law 2020”. Its score of 75.6 points, after 73.13 in the previous edition, is higher than the average of the 190 countries covered by the study and the MENA region. However, efforts still need to be made, especially on the remuneration aspect.

Morocco is doing well in terms of women’s participation in the economy. According to the latest World Bank study published on Tuesday evening and entitled “Women, Business and Law 2020”, the Kingdom has a score of 75.6 out of 100, which is better than the world average (75.2) and regional average (49.6 for the Middle East and North Africa).

The report “helps us understand where laws facilitate or hinder women’s economic participation. It has encouraged countries to undertake reforms that can eliminate gender inequalities,” says the World Bank Group’s Chief Economist, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg.

The Bretton Woods Institution used eight indicators to study how laws affect women in 190 countries at different stages of their working lives, focusing on laws applicable in the country’s main economic city. The study covers reforms undertaken from June 2017 to September 2019. The indicators cover mobility, work, remuneration, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, the working population and retirement.

In detail, Morocco obtains the maximum score of 100 for three of the eight areas of assessment, namely mobility, work and entrepreneurship. It achieves a score of 80 for parenthood, 75 for pensions and 60 for marriage. On the other hand, the Kingdom still has much to do in the area of remuneration, where it barely scores average, or in the area of the working population (score of 40).

Over the reference period, 20 reforms were implemented in the Middle East and North Africa region, nine of which were adopted by Morocco, Tunisia, Djibouti, Bahrain and Jordan. However, Saudi Arabia showed the largest improvement in its index in the region since the previous edition of the report. It has adopted reforms in six of the eight areas measured, including women’s mobility, retirement age and economic activity. The Emirates has also adopted reforms in five areas. “Of the ten economies that have made the most progress, six are in the Middle East and North Africa region. This also remains the region with the most potential for improvement,” the study says.

More generally, at the global level, the average score has improved slightly. Two years ago it was 73.9. The most popular reforms have focused on parenting, with 16 economies adopting positive changes. But there is still a long way to go. The World Bank stresses the urgency of further reforms in this area, which received an average score of only 53.9. “Achieving gender equality requires strong political will and concerted efforts, including by governments, civil society and international organizations. However, legislative and regulatory reforms can serve as an important catalyst for improving the lives of women and their families and communities.

Despite these advances, in many economies, women have only a fraction of the rights given to men, hindering their opportunities in employment and entrepreneurship. “Achieving gender equality will take time, but it is encouraging that all regions have improved. We hope that this research will continue to serve as an important tool to inform policy-making and make the playing field more just for women,” says Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg.

It should be noted that the study measures only formal laws and regulations governing a woman’s ability to work or start a business. Standards and practices are not taken into account.

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