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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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The present book aims to study the participation of women in the informal sector and the extent to which their contribution through self-employment helped in the household poverty reduction in the city of Fez. The study is based on a mixed-method approach, where data are collected using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. It also uses descriptive statistical and ethnographic analysis of the data obtained from questionnaires and interviews, which are convergent in nature in order to reach logical conclusions. The results show a high participation rate, statistically significant, of women in the city of Fez who work in the sectors of the informal economy. These unregulated work activities can be considered as an important tool to create job opportunities for many women living in difficult social and economic conditions. Because of the pressure on the inadequate living budget, the study reveals that most respondents effectively contribute to the financial expenses of the family, where they struggle to secure a source of livelihood as well as an increase in the productivity, thus their income. Therefore, they attempt to reduce poverty and maintain the survival of and the unity within the family. Moreover, the study reveals that women’s participation in political and civil life is almost non-existent due to many reasons such as social and cultural obstacles as well as the patriarchal society that prevent their effective participation. It also increases their reluctance of engaging in political and social work. The research also shows that many of the women...

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