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In an attempt to improve the bilateral relations between Morocco and Qatar, Aawatif Hayar, Morocco’s Minister of Solidarity, Social Integration, and Family, convened with her Qatari equivalent, Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misnad, on Monday in Rabat. The focus of their dialogue was the exploration of strategies to expand their respective country’s connection and bolster mutual efforts towards gender equality.

Exploring Social Welfare Services

The ministers engaged in a profound discussion about the variety of social welfare services their governments offer to citizens. They mutually shared ideas and strategies with the intent of augmenting these programs for the benefit of their people.

The Morocco-Qatar Connection

Hayar underlined the strength and significance of the bilateral bonds between the two nations during the meeting. She underscored the transformative period Morocco has undergone since the ratification of the 2011 Constitution. This significant legislation aimed to establish a democratic and inclusive society, upholding human rights, and promoting equality.

Morocco’s Commitment to Gender Equality

Hayar emphasized that the government’s 2021-2026 program in Morocco is designed to foster gender equality and empower women across various sectors. She pointed out the government’s commitment to raise female employment from 20% to 30% by 2026. She also noted the creation of the National Committee for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, which forms part of the government’s current program.

Qatar’s Vision for Partnership

Echoing Hayar’s sentiments, Al Misnad also highlighted the historical importance of the relationship between Qatar and Morocco. She explored potential areas for partnership between the two nations, with a focus on women’s issues, children’s welfare, support for disabled individuals, and family support. Al Misnad highlighted the ongoing work of specific social service centers and various initiatives designed to offer assistance.

Empowering Women Economically

The Qatari minister suggested the promotion of regional and local goods as a strategy for achieving women’s economic empowerment. Both countries expressed their willingness to support social development and marginalized groups.

Given the low female labor participation rates in Morocco, which have been on a downward trend in recent years, initiatives for women’s empowerment and gender equality have become paramount.

The Moroccan High Commission for Planning (HCP) reports that 80% of Morocco’s working-age female population is not engaged in the labor market. The World Bank considers this situation to be a significant challenge for the Moroccan economy.

Mutual Goals for Social Protection

Both countries are investigating ways to enhance cooperation and support women’s empowerment in social welfare services and job opportunities.

On Monday, Minister Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misnad and her Moroccan counterpart, Awatif Hayar, committed to intensifying social protection in their respective countries, according to Morocco World News.

Qatar’s Path Toward Equality

Qatar has made substantial strides in recent years toward achieving gender equality. The Gulf state’s government launched initiatives aimed at increasing women’s participation in the labor force. In 2018, the nation passed a law prohibiting gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Additionally, the Qatar Foundation initiated a program in 2020 aimed at empowering women and encouraging their leadership in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

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