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Driss El Yazami: Weak political participation of women is unfair and a shame

The political representation of women and its role in democratic consolidation was the focus of the international conference on ‘Africa-Europe: Crossed viewpoints, the political representativeness of women’ organized on 14 September 2017 in Rabat, Morocco by the Association Joussour and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation.

This meeting was an opportunity to cross the African and the European experience in terms of women’s representativeness. It highlighted, through benchmarking, the study on the evaluation of mechanisms to promote the political representation of women in Morocco. This study was initiated by Joussour in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation. 50 participants from Cameroon, Niger, Tunisia, Spain, Germany, Belgium and Morocco attended the two-day conference, which aspires to suggest ways to promote this representation.  

The conclusion is clear. The political representation of women in Morocco does not respond to women’s rights defenders aspirations and it does not reflect the effectiveness of their rights under the Constitution. According to figures, their representativeness does not exceed 11.7% in the House of Representatives and 20.5% in the House of Advisors. The political, legal, economic and social difficulties that explain this situation are numerous: socio-cultural factors that carry on stereotypes and archaic perceptions, women’s family responsibilities, the electoral system, political parties and lack of funding resources.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Driss El Yazami, the CNDH Chairperson, stressed that the weak political participation of women is unfair and a shame to Morocco, because our Constitution institutes equality, parity and non-discrimination. It is a fundamental breach of democracy.

How can we overcome this situation? Ouafae Hajji, member founder and president of the scientific committee of Joussour Association and president of the Socialist International, indicated that parity is the most appropriate mechanism to guarantee a better representativeness of women. Indeed, the study carried out for this purpose recommends the institutionalization of parity as an institutional right. It also calls for the consolidation of the normative framework through a framework law on gender equality in all its dimensions and the review of the normative framework on the political participation of women.