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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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I am most grateful for the help and support I have received. I believe the following people should enjoy recognition for offering their time and their assistance.

I owe unending thanks to Dr. Souad Slaoui. I am very grateful for her continuous support and energy that were invested in all parts of the book. Special thanks equally go to Dr. Fatima Sadiqi for believing in me, providing me with academic support, and encouragement. My acknowledgments are also extended to Dr. Mohammed Moubtassim for his assistance and for providing me with a perfect working environment.

My deepest gratitude is extended to my female interviewees and respondents. I hope this book can be as constructive for their individual situation, as their stories and experiences have been for my personal development. My thanks are extended to all the heads of the cooperatives and the professional associations in the city of Fez who openly received me. My gratitude also goes to all the members of those institutions for sharing their views on informal employment and poverty issues.

On a more personal note, my deepest gratitude is extended to my strongest supporters. Words cannot convey how truly blessed I feel to have my parents as my greatest supporters. I value their principle in life about their children’s education above everything. I dedicate this book to them as a fruit of their unconditional love, support, sacrifice and guidance, without which my academic achievements so far would have been...

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