On the heels of International Women’s Day, the Moroccan government has announced plans to increase women’s political participation at the local level. By raising awareness of a recent change increasing the minimum quota for women’s representation in local councils from 0.56 percent to 12 percent, the government seeks to reduce the marginalization of women from politics.
While the merits of the quota system can be debated, the reform presents an avenue for enhancing women’s advancement in Morocco following the modification of the Moroccan Family Law (Moudawana) in 2004. The government’s outreach and funding for political parties and civil society groups to help increase women’s political participation presents an opportunity for a variety of women’s groups to make their voice heard. For women entrepreneurs and business associations in Morocco, the reform affords the potential for more targeted advocacy at the grassroots level.
Formal estimates put Moroccan female entrepreneurs at 10 percent of all enterprises, which does not take into account the micro enterprise sector or women in the informal sector (see Gender Entrepreneurship Markets – Morocco Country Brief). Effective and targeted advocacy efforts that engage policymakers in a dialogue on better policies offer the opportunity to improve the business climate for female artisans and entrepreneurs as well as to assist them in making the transition from the informal to the formal market.