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The oriental region in Morocco promote women social inclusion through the project "Women's Desk"

The "Women's Desk" project (2008-2010) is a gender mainstreaming experience in a challenging socio-cultural context. In addition, the project is an example of a process by which local institutions and services have appropriated gender-mainstreaming methods in economic integration policies.

The Women's Desk aims to be a space for consultation and coordination between the various local services in the Oriental Region in order to improve the services provided for the women beneficiaries. It provides a range of services, starting with comprehensive care for women in precarious situations, listening to them to ascertain their problems and needs, providing them with information and referring them to either the relevant local services in case of legal, health, sociocultural or educational problems, or to the appropriate services for job seeking and socio-professional integration.

The project seeks the active involvement of women in local development through:

  • Improved access for women to local services in the region by providing them with information relating to all existing services, provided by both public services and associations.
  • The implementation of a network of local services to improve the quality of life of women in the Oriental Region.
  • The collection of data and information, and production and dissemination of the analyses, studies, research, surveys and statistics on the situation of women in the various provinces and municipalities in the Region.

Beneficiaries

Women in the Oriental Region; the beneficiaries of the services provided by each Woman’s Desk in the five provinces and on a more comprehensive basis, the 1,908,905 inhabitants of the Oriental Region (928,142 men and 980,763 women).

Coordination

The "Women's Desk" Project was implemented with the ART GOLD Maroc programme and its international decentralized cooperation partners. The ART GOLD Programme and the Andalucian Fund of Municipalities for International Solidarity (FAMSI) provided technical and financial support for the project during the three phases of the project (2008/2009/2010). The entire project, from its implementation in 2008 and over the 3 phases, has required a total budget of 3,325,205.42 MAD.

The project is part of a long-term strategy aimed at the institutionalization of each "Women's Desk" to ensure local ownership of the project. During the first year of the project, various local institutions and services expressed their interest in and commitment to the project's success. This can be seen by the various agreements signed in 2008, 2009 and 2010 between the National Aid Programme in Jerada, Berkane, Bouarfa and Taourirt Province, which provided premises for the Women's Desk in each province, and provided institutional support in the creation of the various training courses, workshops and missions that took place during those years.

Key results and achievements

Attention for 3,135 women, with 1,719 of them referred to services. 2,002 women registered as jobseekers, of which 57% were referred to professional integration services and approximately 20% found employment; Strengthening of the skills of the 500 beneficiaries of the project throughout the Oriental Region by means of training courses on job seeking techniques, income-generating activities (IGA), an introduction to accounting, needlework, and computer skills; Exchange of experiences and technical exchanges on experiences of gender equality between the project team and various institutions and associations in the province of Huelva in Spain (2008/2009) and the Region of Umbria - FELCOS (2010).

Obstacles

The implementation of the project and its consolidation were nonetheless accompanied by several limitations and difficulties: successive changes in territorial authorities, political authorities and the heads of some external departments delayed its implementation; the lack of ownership of this initiative by newcomers and sometimes their scepticism required an increase in the number of advocacy meetings. The inaccessibility and distance of women in rural areas to information for women about the existence of local services; the lack of involvement by some institutions in the territory.

For more information, please consult the full case study : Inclusive Cities Observatory