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Women in the Informal Sector and Poverty Reduction in Morocco

The City of Fez as a Case Study


Souad Belhorma

It is established that the informal sector plays an important role in the creation of job opportunities for many rural and urban people. However, there is a scarcity of academic research on the relationship between gender, informality of employment and poverty reduction in Morocco with particular reference to the city of Fez. This book focuses on investigating the contribution of women’s self-employed work in the informal sector in reducing household poverty in the city of Fez. This is done through the medium of specific framework objectives. First, the book sets out the types of women engaged in informal sector activities in the city of Fez. Secondly, it makes a situational analysis of the contribution of women’s work in the informal sector to reduce poverty in their households in this region of Morocco. Thirdly, it identifies the linkages between working as self-employed persons and emancipation of women through their participation in political and social activism in Fez and lastly, it uncovers the main difficulties impeding the development of women in self-employed activities in the informal sector and identifies the various challenges for the development of their businesses in Fez.

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Chapter 3 Women and Self-employment in the City of Fez


Chapter 3

Women and Self-employment in the City of Fez


In the previous chapters, it has been assumed that women’s opportunities to enroll in an informal economic activity are caused by their lower socio-demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. It is further assumed that the informal sector is an important source of job creation for women whose motivations are diversified. The current chapter explores the socio-demographic and professional characteristics of self-employed women. It also examines women’s interests in their shadow work. This would allow the understanding of the type of women working in this form of employment in Morocco in general and in the city of Fez in particular.

Women’s Profiles in Self-employment

This section is divided into two main sub-sections. The first one has an objective to determine the profile of the workers through the examination of their socio-demographic and professional characteristics that promote or hinder the development of the informal self-employment. The second sub-section examines the main reasons and motivational aspects that pushed these women to end up working informally.

Socio-demographic Characteristics

Based on the findings of the quantitative data, the age variable of my informants ranges from 20 to 70 years old. Women informants whose age is between 30 and 45 years old come in the first place with a percentage of←93 | 94→ 37.3%. Informants whose age is less than 30 years old come in the second place with a percentage of 26.3%....

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