Morocco plays an active role in the programs, conventions and international conferences related to issues of equity and gender equality. These efforts are part of a broader program of promoting human rights and democratic governance.
Conscious of the importance of gender equality in women’s emancipation and in the economic and social development in general, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has set up since 1990, a Unit for “Women’s Integration in Development”. This Unit which aims at strengthening the role of the Ministry in the field of gender equity drew for itself, since its creation, very ambitious short, medium and long term objectives.
The main activities undertaken, in 2008, by this Unit in terms of Women’s integration in development are the following:
- Organizing information and raising awareness sessions in favor of 60 diplomats and cultural and economic counselors appointed abroad, on the themes "Gender and Development", and "the New Provisions of the Family Code and the Nationality Code"
- Participation in the following events:
- Consultation workshop on a bill for the protection against gender-based violence
- Conference celebrating the National Day of Moroccan Women;
- Coordination meetings for the follow-up of the National Strategy for Equity and Gender Equality
- Conference on the political participation of women in rural areas: a catalyst for local development.
Implemented Programs and projects
Morocco, signatory of the Millennium Declaration, strives continuously to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In this context, the Moroccan Government formulated a second National Report on MDGs in 2005, wishing, by doing so, to meet three main goals:
- To adapt the eight MDGs to the country's local reality;
- To suggest a participatory approach;
-To integrate efficiently the gender concept in the analysis of the socioeconomic development.
- Furthermore, the year 2007 was marked by the implementation of the new Outline Plan of the United Nations’ Assistance to the Kingdom of Morocco (UNDAF14) which covered the period 2007-2011.
Signed in February 2006 by the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations’ System and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, this Development Assistance Framework is meant to achieve the objectives, conceptualize the cooperation strategies, allocate the program resources, and make proposals of control, follow up and evaluation. This Assistance Plan identifies five "national goals" that constitute the framework in which each organization of the United Nations’ System should enroll its action:
- Managing the natural and cultural heritage as key elements of sustainable development policies and fighting poverty
- Reducing the vulnerability of rural areas
- Strengthening human and social capital, and improving access to basic social services
- Empowering women and girls politically, legally, economically and socially
- Encouraging human development and democratic governance to support fighting poverty and exclusion.
Besides this, the UNDAF, which meets both the government priorities and the requirements of the Millennium Declaration, relies also on an analysis of the country’s situation, known as “Common Country Assessment” (CCA).
The 2005 CCA, the third of its kind, after those of 1996 and 2000, was made based on human rights and gender approach. It highlights the major trends that characterize the recent evolution of Morocco and examines the following four priority areas of intervention:
-Women, Children, Youth and Inclusion;
-Vulnerability of rural areas;
-Problems of housing and urban governance;
-Protection of natural and cultural heritage.
The cooperation program: Morocco-UNDP
Based on the Cooperation Program Document (CPD) between Morocco and the UNDP, the Country Program Action Plan (CPAP) for the 2007-2011 period was developed in close collaboration with government partners and the United Nations system. This action plan is based on the guidelines expressed in the official political declarations, particularly regarding the priorities identified in the National Initiative for Human Development (NIHD).
Similarly, the development of partnerships with new Moroccan Agencies for development facilitated the process of decentralization and the financing of local and regional development adopting a gender-based approach. In fact, the UNDP considers reinforcing a regional approach based on gender, through the program “Support for Territorial networks and democratic local governance” ART GOLD. This program aims at facilitating the regions’ promotion with partners in Europe through a decentralized cooperation. The goal is to reach an accelerated development of the disadvantaged regions, through adopting a gender approach when it comes to investment and job creation.
Since 2004, the UNDP has been seeking to strengthen the impact of projects, developed in cooperation with Morocco, on women’s rights and moral and financial well-being. In 2006, it published and posted online a booklet on the systematic integration of the gender approach, targeting conception-designers and project administrators. The gender approach aims at modifying the unequal relations between men and women to ensure a fair distribution of opportunities, resources and project benefits.
Having noted the limited impact of these initiatives, the UNDP Office in Morocco, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, decided, starting from 2007, to use the gender approach in the management focused on results of its projects. Thus women's participation and impacts on women were systematically included into all project management tools from conception to closure: risk log, quarterly reports, journal of learnt lessons, etc.
Moreover, the booklet on the systematic integration of gender approach was republished in Arabic to back this tendency. Besides this, six UN volunteers have been made available for experimental projects to encourage the implementation of these new working methods and strengthen them, taking into account the lessons learnt at the local level.
On the basis of previous experiences related to programs of fighting poverty in rural and urban areas, the UNDP intends to give its support for the access to the financing, the development of sustainable income generating activities, the improvement of services and mainly those granted to the most vulnerable people and the creation of an environment favorable for feminine entrepreneurship.
Morocco in tune with the United Nations’ initiated reforms on Gender Equality
The successful partnership between Morocco and the Sub-regional North African office of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNDFW) is the result of a combination of factors that have contributed to the strengthening of Moroccan women’s rights. The global strategy of the UNDFW is part of the efforts to support building democracy in Morocco.
Accordingly, the UNDFW Office has identified the key areas that serve the transformation of the society within the respect of women’s human rights and supported, during last years, projects and initiatives that were at the core of the equality reforms.
On the basis of its experience, Morocco considers that it is important to think about the conditions that can allow women's rights to progress in a sustainable manner in Morocco, the Arab world and the world as a whole. This is why the Moroccan government calls for the strengthening of the financial, operational and human resources at the disposal of the UNDFW. This enhancement goes hand in hand with a qualitative shift in terms of the status and the positioning of the UNDFW within the United Nations System
Morocco also considers that the sustainability of actions promoting women's rights could only be achieved, if the reform of United Nations allows the establishment, of the necessary institutional arrangements, for a real development policy, in favor of Gender Equality.
To this end, Morocco supports the proposal of the G77 + China and suggests that the mandate of the UNDFW be strengthened, as part of the realignment of the UN system, to further support innovative activities in favor of women’s rights and gender equality.
Integrating gender into the objectives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
The analysis of the evolution of the budget allocated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation shows a certain rise during the last years. This is a witness of the importance given by Morocco to this strategic Department which plays a fundamental role in the promotion of questions related to women at the national and international levels. Morocco which has, in fact, made of the economic and political openness one of its priorities, would like to strengthen the role of this Ministry both at the international and national levels.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has formulated a set of objectives for its operating and investment budgets, to allow the establishment of a link between the funds allocated to an action, programs or activities, and the targeted and expected results from using the aforesaid budgets. The main goal remains to strengthen the anchoring of the gender concept in the various phases of the Ministry’s budget planning and programming.