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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 4 The Contribution of Women’s Self-employment in the City of Fez to Poverty Reduction


Chapter 4

The Contribution of Women’s Self-employment in the City of Fez to Poverty Reduction


The focus of the present chapter is to analyze the extent to which women’s participation in the self-employed economic activities contributes to the reduction of household poverty. In this regard, I argue that women’s income generated from self-employed activities in the city of Fez, though low in most of the cases, contributes to the reduction of poverty at the household level. With this in mind, the question worth rising is: what are the outcomes for women and the household as a result of such participation? The earnings that women generate from their informal work in Fez as well as their contributions to the household are such outcomes. The main purpose of this chapter is to address this question heavily relying on the analyses of survey data collected in the city of Fez, which are relative to different sectors within the informal sector, to illustrate the issues in the content of the research area. Firstly, it aims to discuss the main economic characteristics, which directed the development and the lives of women and those of self-employed workers in the city of Fez in particular. Secondly, the debate around the various initiatives of women to contribute to the needs of the household as well as its impact on the lives of the family members is researched next. This is important to understand and to evaluate the extent to which their...

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