The Attijariwafa bank Foundation pays tribute to the courage of Moroccan women in the face of the health crisis

As part of its cycle of digital conferences “Exchange for better understanding”, the Attijariwafa bank Foundation organized, Thursday March 18, 2021 in live streaming on its Youtube channel, a meeting with a distinguished guest, Ms. Nouzha Skalli, President of Think tank Awal Houriates and former Minister in charge of Women’s Rights, around the theme “Moroccan women put to the test of the health crisis”. Moderated by Ms. Meya Zeghari, Head of the Attijariwafa bank Foundation, the discussion was punctuated by several testimonies full of humanity, from women of all stripes recounting their experiences of the health crisis. A tribute was paid to the women doctors who were on the front lines of the fight against Covid-19. Their poignant account of their fight within Covid hospital units was one of the highlights of the conference. At the opening, Ms. Skalli recalled, with supporting figures, Morocco’s delay in terms of parity, and the persistence of discrimination against women, in the private and professional fields. A situation that the sudden outbreak of Covid-19 exacerbated, even though women were on the front line in managing the health crisis. “The women doctors who constitute more than half of the medical personnel in our country, saw their life change overnight, but they did not hesitate to serve their homeland by mobilizing night and day, far from their families, and to be exposed to the risk of contamination by the virus. We should all be grateful for their self-sacrifice and selflessness, ”said Ms. Skalli. The discussion then focused on the reasons for the decline in the participation rate of women since 2000, which has fallen from 30% to less than 20% today. “This represents a huge shortfall for our country. It should be noted that the elimination of discrimination against women could result in an increase of 39.5% of GDP / capita according to OECD estimates. It is therefore a niche of precious wealth that would allow us to accelerate the pace of growth and progress ”. Note that the low economic contribution of women in all countries of the MENA region would represent a shortfall of $ 575 billion. In light of this observation, it is therefore not surprising that female leadership is still lagging behind. According to the HCP, less than 13% of businesses in Morocco are run by women. “Some large groups are trying to achieve parity. Thus, the Attijariwafa bank group adopted a gender diversity charter during the Women’s Rights Day and launched a vast initiative to promote gender equality. But such initiatives are still rare, ”says Ms. Zeghari. For Ms. Skalli, this initiative is a sign of good governance. “More generally, to break the glass ceiling, or rather, the iron ceiling, several associations support women entrepreneurs; and on this register, the massive use of NTI can constitute a boon to accelerate the progression of female entrepreneurship ”. On the private level, the promotion of gender equality is also legitimate because, according to an HCP survey, women spend up to 7 times more time with others and in particular with members of their family. The current situation is critical because the damage of the health crisis on women is of several types: job insecurity, exacerbation of domestic violence, worsening of psychological pressure and decline in socialization. “We owe a moral debt to the health personnel and their material claims are legitimate,” said the president of Awal Houriates. There is great hope that the new development model will insist on the need to fight against all these injustices and to apply public policies on the ground while respecting gender equality. “During confinement, aid intended for precarious populations was paid exclusively to heads of families, knowing that nearly 7% of households are headed by women. And even in households made up of couples, it is the man who has collected the aid, while the woman generates an income for the whole family! “. To avoid these injustices, it is urgent to apply the law while taking gender equality into account in the implementation of public policies. “Right now, I welcome the generalization of social protection, but it will only have the desired impact if it is applied according to gender parity”. Through this new conference-debate which raised many questions from Internet users to which the guest answered with interest, the Attijariwafa bank Foundation demonstrates, once again, its desire to promote debate and reflection on issues that engage the future of our country by calling on personalities recognized for their competence and their commitment in the field. Replay link: https: //www.youtube.com/watch? V=IFK0KCsw3gU & t=1028s