The glass ceiling

The emancipation of women inevitably involves breaking the “glass ceiling” represented by societal and psychological barriers which tend to favor female immobility and to systematically send women back to a position of inferiority and subordination, affirms the Council. economic, social and environmental (CESE). “A country cannot claim any development or progress if half of its lifeblood, namely women, is excluded. At a time when Morocco is mobilizing to move towards a new, more inclusive development model, it is inconceivable that women are subjected to violence and remain on the margins of socioeconomic and civic life “, notes the EESC, which has just published an alert on the occasion of International Women’s Rights Day. Despite the advances, gender-based discrimination and violations of women’s rights still persist and their participation in development remains low, deplores the same source, stressing the need to make several changes to promote women’s rights. The Council therefore recommends three major changes (institutional and legal, operational and socio-cultural), resulting from its reports and opinions devoted to the promotion of gender equality and the fight against all forms of discrimination. Thus, it is for the acceleration of the harmonization of national legislation with the principles and provisions of the Constitution and international human rights conventions ratified by Morocco and relating to the prevention and elimination of all forms of discrimination. towards women and girls. In this sense, the EESC stresses the importance of repealing the legal provisions contained in a certain number of laws whose application harms single mothers and their children and which obstruct the right to bear complaint for rape (article 490 of the Penal Code), adding that articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Family Code should also be repealed in order to eradicate child marriage. It is also a question of erecting the promotion of equality and the fight against violence against women and girls (zero tolerance), a priority national issue translated into a global and transversal public policy, based on on a clearly identified and sanctuary budget, as well as to ensure respect for the dignity and privacy of women, including in the context of judicial and medico-legal proceedings. In addition, the Council recommends making part of the public subsidy granted to political parties, unions and associations conditional on reaching a minimum level of representativeness of 30% of women in their governing bodies. With regard to operational changes, the EESC considers it necessary to initiate a national plan to open public or company day nurseries throughout the country, to make school hours more flexible for children and to put in place positive active measures. and targeted to ensure parity in access to positions of responsibility in the public service. It is also for greater flexibility in terms of recourse to new forms of work within companies (teleworking, part-time work, flexible working hours, etc.) and for the strengthening of the legal framework relating to the fight against moral harassment and sexuality of women in public places and in protected areas, especially workplaces. Likewise, the Council calls for the inclusion of women’s safety, in public transport and in public places, at the center of the concerns of city policies, public security policies, urban development plans and housing programs and the promotion of rural women’s access to paid work, and the improvement of their financial autonomy. On the socio-cultural side, it is a question of promoting public debate to change mentalities on issues related to child marriage, voluntary termination of pregnancy, and inheritance procedures. The EESC also recommends starting sex education in schools to instill in children the principles of equality between women and men, to dismantle discriminatory stereotypes, as well as those condoning violence against women, and make them aware of the concepts of physical integrity and sexual health, through the use of appropriate educational tools according to the target age groups. And to conclude: “All this cannot be realized without lifting the cultural constraints which can be handicapping for women, because building a modern and inclusive society requires actively fighting against stereotypes, often degrading and humiliating and enshrining a negative image of women. women”. The CESE alerts aim to share the reflection on crucial subjects, previously addressed by the Council, with a view to shedding additional light on current debates in society, in the light of the conclusions of its work.