Focus on Morocco | Civic and Political Participation Topic Brief

Publication Date: 
21 Jun 2010

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CIVIC & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

This topic brief presents the main findings from the SWMENA survey in Morocco on civic and political participation. It includes an analysis of civic engagement through membership in different types of organizations and taking part in different activities to express opinions on political and social issues. Voting behavior is also explored in reference to participation in the 2009 municipal elections in June 2009 as well as women’s opinions about policy priorities and factors influencing their voting choices.

Engagement in Different Types of Organizations

In order to examine the extent of civic engagement of women in Morocco, we asked respondents if they are currently or had been members of different types of organizations. This shows the level of association of people with others outside their house and can be a reflection of how active and informed they are as citizens.

  • Data from the SWMENA survey suggests that overall levels of membership in different organizations are extremely low for women and relatively low for men as well.
  • No more than 2% of Moroccan women say they are members of any type of organization. Men are generally more likely to be members of different types of organizations than women: 9% of surveyed men are members of youth or sports associations, 7% are members of scientific or intellectual associations, and 5% are members of cultural centers, trade unions, or political parties.
  • When aggregating memberships in organizations regardless of organization type, we find that 4% of Moroccan women are members of one organization, 1% are members of two organizations and another 1% are members of three organizations or more. This leaves 95% of Moroccan women who are not members of any organization.
  • Meanwhile, 15% of men are members of one organization, 6% are members of two organizations, and 3% are members of three organizations or more.
  • When breaking down membership levels for women by age groups, we do not see significant differences. Membership in organizations is low across the board but is particularly limited for women who are 55 years or older. It is highest for women who are in the 25-34 age group where 5% are members of one organization and 2% are members of two organizations or more. 
  • Women’s civic engagement through membership in different organizations increases with educational attainment. For women with no education, membership in organizations is negligible, standing at a tiny 1%. For those with less than a primary education, only 5% are members of one organization, the remaining 95% are not members of any organization. This is similar to those with a primary education where 5% are members of one organization and 1% are members of two organizations or more. Among women with an intermediate education, 7% are members of one organization, 3% are members of two organizations or more and 89% are not members of any organization. Those with a secondary education or higher exhibit higher levels of civic engagement: 13% are members of one organization and 8% are members of two organizations or more. Still, a hefty majority of women with a secondary education or higher (79%) are not members of any organization.
  • When comparing women who are part of the labor force with those who are not, we find a large difference in the levels of membership in different organizations.  Seventeen percent of women who are employed are members of one organization or more compared to only 4% of women who are not employed. This shows that as women’s economic role expands their level of civic engagement (as measured in terms of membership in organizations) increases as well.

 

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