Engagement in Activities to Express Views - Morocco
Another way of gauging the civic participation of women is by looking at different activities that women can take to express their opinions on political and social issues.
- The SWMENA survey suggests that very few Moroccan women take part in any activities to express their views on social and political issues. Indeed, when presented with a list of activities that citizens could use to make their opinions heard about issues in their community or at the national level, only a handful of women report taking part in any activity listed to express their views while the sweeping majority of women have not taken part in any activity and are not even willing to engage in these activities in the future.
- When specifically asked about whether they had contacted or visited a public official over the past year, 2% of women said they did and another 6% said they had done that longer ago. Thirty-eight percent said they might do that in the future while half the respondents said they would never do that. Other listed activities had even fewer women saying they had done them to express their views over the past year or longer ago. For example, only 1% of women had called in to a radio or TV show or written to a newspaper or magazine to express their views over the past year, and only 1% have sent in an SMS vote or taken part in a protest, march or demonstration to make their voices heard. Less than 1% have contributed to a blog or internet site or signed a written or email petition (Figure 6).
- What is also noteworthy is that, with the exception of the activity of contacting or visiting a public official, a sizable majority of Moroccan women are either unsure or say they will never take part in such activities in the future. This reflects a regrettably high degree of civic apathy among Moroccan women.
- Women’s participation in different activities to express their views is not only low in absolute terms but it’s also low relative to their male counterparts. Men are four times more likely (32%) than women (8%) to have contacted or visited a public official at any level of government over the past year or longer ago to express their views on a social or political issue. Similarly, 9% of men say that they have taken part in a protest, march or demonstration to express their views while only 2% of women have done the same. Six percent of men have signed a petition over the past year or longer ago compared with just 1% of women (Figure 7). Still there is an overall low level of civic engagement across the Moroccan public.
- When aggregating activities regardless of the type of activity, the difference in engagement between men and women becomes even more pronounced. Figure 8 shows that 29% of Moroccan men have taken part in one activity to express their views over the past year or longer ago and 12% have taken part in two activities or more. This leaves 59% of men who have not taken part in any activities to express their views. Meanwhile, the percent of women who have not taken part in any activity stands at a much higher 89% as only 11% of women have taken part in one or more activities to express their views over the past year or longer ago.
- When examining the data on women’s participation in activities by age groups, the data suggests that the 25-34 and the 45-54 are the most likely to have engaged in activities to express their views with 12% and 13% respectively saying they have engaged in at least one activity to express their views over the past year or longer. This compares to only 9% of women in the 18-24 age group (Figure 9). The same pattern is observed for men where engagement in activities is lower for the younger age group 18-24 than it is for those who are 25 or older.
- When looking at women’s participation in activities by educational groups, we find that engagement increases as educational attainment increases. For women with a primary education or less, at least nine in 10 women have not taken part in any listed activity to express their views over the past year or longer ago while less than 10% have taken part in activities to express their views. For those with an intermediate education, 18% took part in at least one activity to express their views. As for women with a secondary education or higher, 24% took part in one activity or more to express their views (Figure 10). It must be noted, however, that men with a similar education level are much more active with 55% reporting taking part in one activity or more to express their views.
- Women in urban areas are slightly more likely to take part in activities than women in rural areas. Thirteen percent of women in urban areas have taken part in one activity or more to express their views compared with just 9% of women in rural areas (Figure 11).
- As seen with the pattern of women’s membership in different organizations by employment status, employed women are also much more willing to take part in activities to express their views than women who are not employed. Indeed, more than twice as many women who are employed (21%) have taken part in an activity to express their views than women who are not employed (10%).