Cracking Morocco’s glass ceiling

Cracking Morocco’s glass ceiling
More women are working in official positions, but critics say still not enough
2 min read
12 September, 2014
Female police officers becomming increasingly common [Munir Hamidat/al-Araby al-Jadeed]

An increasing number of Moroccan women are working in positions of authority in the military, police and business.


Women are now employed as guards or officers in the armed forces, and some have reached high positions in local authorities. The Moroccan public is no longer surprised to see women wearing police or military uniforms in the street or working as security guards. This is part of a phenomenon Moroccans are calling “the feminisation of authority”.  


By pursuing careers in these areas, young Moroccan women are breaking years of male domination in these occupations. This is a step towards creating a society that offers men and women equal employment opportunities, as embodied by the kingdom’s constitution which says: “Men and women will enjoy equal rights and freedoms.”


     “When I first started, people in the street used to stare at me.” – Samia, police officer

Samia, a young woman in her 20s, who graduated from the police academy in Kenitra, told al-Araby al-Jadeed that these professions have evolved to depend on efficiency rather than physical strength, which means women compete on equal terms.


“I love my job in the police because I give back to society,” she said. “I also have a stable salary at the end of each month. When I first started, people in the street used to stare at me out of curiosity, but with time their stares have turned into friendly and respectful looks.”


However, despite the high number of women working in positions of authority, only ten percent of Interior Ministry workers are women.


“Women normally score higher than men in exams during police academy training,” said a source in the Moroccan police. “This shows that women are highly committed to working in this field, and are not just looking for a good salary or job privileges.”


The increasing numbers of women in employment embodies the direction Morocco has been taking since King Mohammed VI took the throne in 1999, said our police source, when the new monarch announced a new era in which the country would focus on promoting women’s rights. 

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition