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Women make up more than half of the Moroccan population

The number of women in mid-2018 is estimated at 17.67 million, slightly over half of Morocco’s population (50.1%), according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP).

In the population under 15, almost 49% are female and among the 60 years and over, this share reaches almost 51%, says the HCP in an information note published on the occasion of the international day of the woman.

This note presents the situation of women in terms of empowerment, improvement of their living conditions, education, training, health care, violence, economic activity and decision-making in reports that in 2017, some 18.4% of heads of households are women, of whom 22.8% live alone.

They are older than men heads of households (50.1% are over 54 years old compared to 37.4%) and run households of smaller size, says the same source, noting that seven out of ten female heads of household are widows or divorced and 65.6% of them are illiterate and the majority (75%) is inactive.

In addition, the HCP reports that maternal mortality, which peaked at 332 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1992, decreased by almost 66% in twenty years to reach 112 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010.

In 2017, this ratio is only 72.6 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, a reduction of 35% compared to 2010, notes the note, adding that the maternal mortality rate in rural areas remains twice more important than in urban areas.

This situation is explained by the lack of prenatal consultations in rural areas where 20.4% of pregnant women did not benefit in 2018, compared with only 4.4% in urban areas, says the HCP, underlining the persistence of major disparities in delivery in a health facility. Thus, 73.7% of pregnant women benefit in rural areas compared to 96% in urban areas, according to the results of the 2018 national survey on population and family health.

In addition, the note shows a drop in fertility from 4.46 children per woman in 1987 to 2.2 children in 2014, recording an intensity as low as that of France of 2 children per woman.

By medium, rural fertility declined from 5.95 children per woman in 1987 to 2.5 in 2014, while urban fertility fell to 2 children per woman, thus falling below the replacement level for generations.

At the same time, the HCP reports that the number of minors married before the age of 18 has decreased by 12.8% in the last decade, from 55,379 in 2004 to 48,291 in 2014, indicating that girls remain the main victims of this type of marriage with a rate of 94.8% (45,786 girls) of total unions involving minors.

In addition, almost one third of married girls (32.1%) already have at least one child and the vast majority of non-single girls (87.7%) are housewives.

In terms of literacy and schooling, the note states that, despite the progress made, one in ten girls aged 7-12 is out of school in rural areas and 14.8% of girls aged 15 to 24 are illiterates compared with 7.2% of boys of the same age.

In 2014, six out of ten rural women remain illiterate, compared with 35.2% of rural men and 30.5% of urban women.

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