Women’s representation in the parliament of Morocco
In the 2016 general election, women’s representation in the Moroccan parliament rose to over 20%. Despite these gains, significant challenges remained. For example, women elected via a women-only national list were restricted to one term. This made it difficult for them to gain traction on policy issues and showcase their leadership. Furthermore, political parties used the women-only list as an excuse not to nominate women candidates to winnable seats which were not term-limited.
To address this, WFD built working partnerships with women MPs to support them and help them overcome these challenges. We provided women MPs with training in communications to help them engage voters, constituents and fellow MPs. By doing so, WFD helped them enhance their public profiles.
What is more, WFD supported the parliament to set up a Parity and Equity Working Group. This group was set up to ensure new laws are gender-equal, in practice and principle. We worked with the group to host a forum for MPs from Arab countries and the UK. As this forum, MPs shared their experiences and guidance with Moroccan women MPs and key allies.
As a result of WFD’s support, parliament adopted new procedures, resulting in six women being promoted to leadership roles. These roles included membership of the political bureau and as chairs of standing committees. Debates in parliament not reflect gender issues. This lead to the first-ever law on violence against women in the country and the legal age of marriage being raised to 18. Furthermore, many Moroccan women MPs who participated in WFD’s programmes believe they are better equipped to communicate with constituents and overcome the challenges they face.