Context :

In Morocco, gender equality has become an increasingly important topic in public debates among various actors, including civil society, academicians, researchers, and the government. The 2011 Constitution established the principle of equality between men and women and the equal enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights and freedoms. However, despite advances in legal, legislative, and operational terms, inequalities between men and women, stigma, and discrimination still persist, both in terms of laws in force and in terms of economic, social, cultural, political, and sexual levels. The pandemic “Covid-19” has further highlighted these inequalities, as women were exposed to gender-based violence and more economic vulnerability. The High Commission for Planning (HCP) revealed that 18.4% of female heads of household were women, 7 out of 10 of them are widows or divorced, 65.6% are illiterate and the majority (75%) are inactive. In a recent report, HCP said that 57% of Moroccan women were subjected to gender-based violence during the twelve months preceding the survey. Morocco has launched several projects aimed at promoting equality between men and women, through the adoption of several structural reforms, such as the adoption of Law No. 103-13 to combat violence against women and the establishment of advisory bodies specialized in gender in territorial collectivities. However, disparities between men and women, favoring poverty and the exclusion of women, still negatively impact their enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social, or cultural rights and limit their participation in the management of public affairs.

Project Description :

Based on the context and recommendations presented, TALM focused on identifying inequalities, constraints, and opportunities to offer conclusions and specific recommendations on how USAID could achieve greater gender integration in its strategic planning and activities in Morocco. To do this, the team interviewed key decision-makers from the executive, parliament and territorial collectivities, as well as representatives from the private sector, civil society, political parties, and community leaders. The questions focused on identifying the shortages leading to the gender gap and finding effective ways to close it. The outputs of these interviews lead to specific recommendations on how USAID/Morocco could better address gender-related gaps, relevant gender norms, and incorporate gender equality and women’s empowerment objectives at the strategic level, as well as opportunities for collaboration between USAID and the GOM, other donors, and/or other relevant actors.

Project Objectives :

  • Objective 1: Involve youth in the development of local strategic plans to better address their needs and concerns related to violent extremism: The main objective of this project is to ensure that the voices and perspectives of youth are effectively incorporated into the development of local strategic plans for preventing violent extremism. This will involve consulting with youth, gathering their input and feedback, and incorporating their perspectives into the design and implementation of these plans.
  • Objective 2: Establish a supportive and accompaniment-based relationship with youth to prevent radicalization: The project aims to establish a close working relationship with youth in order to provide them with the support and guidance they need to avoid falling prey to extremist ideologies. This will involve providing youth with access to mentoring, counseling, and other forms of support, as well as accompanying them as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of their communities.
  • Objective 3: Transfer skills to youth on radicalization and violent extremism prevention: The project will focus on empowering youth with the knowledge and skills they need to resist and prevent violent extremism. This will involve providing youth with access to training and education programs that teach them about the causes and consequences of extremism, as well as strategies for preventing it.
  • Objective 4: Facilitate engagement and exchange between youth and public actors to share experiences and address violent extremism: The project will work to facilitate engagement and exchange between youth and public actors, such as government officials, community leaders, and law enforcement, in order to share experiences and address violent extremism. This will involve organizing workshops, roundtables, and other events that bring these groups together to discuss common challenges and identify solutions.
  • Objective 5: Involve civil society organizations in the prevention of violent extremism in the region: The project will also involve working closely with civil society organizations to strengthen their capacity and ability to contribute to the prevention of violent extremism in their communities. This will involve providing these organizations with training, resources, and support to help them better understand and address the underlying causes of extremism, as well as to develop and implement effective prevention strategies.

Project Team :

  • Ahmed Jazouli: Team Leader and an expert on democratic governance and public policies. He has led gender mainstreaming in previous projects and will lead the team’s work on political inclusion and countering violent extremism (CVE).
  • Stephanie Willman Bordat: Technical Leader and a Founding Partner at MRA Mobilising for Rights Associates. She has over 20 years of experience in promoting women’s human and legal rights and will lead the team’s technical direction and report on Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
  • Saida Kouzzi: Gender-Based Violence Expert and a Founding Partner at MRA Mobilising for Rights Associates. She has over 20 years of experience in collaborating with NGOs to promote women’s rights and will report on GBV with Stephanie.
  • Fatine Mouline: Economic Inclusion Expert with over 10 years of experience in managing development projects and consulting on gender diversity. She will be in charge of economic inclusion.
  • Rachida Akerbib: Gender and Political Inclusion in Territorial Collectivities Consultant and Logistics Manager with over 10 years’ experience in project management and organizational development of local governments and civil society. She has experience in integrating gender and human rights in programs targeting vulnerable populations.
  • Daniel Lynx Bernard: Basic and Higher Education Consultant and a communication and democracy and governance expert. He has experience in reporting on gender and has written and edited several reports on gender equality.