Monthly Archives: February, 2013

Paid maternal leave: almost everywhere

This map illustrates general attitudes towards working women. It is clear that in most of the countries (in particular those in light blue or red) women’s identity is defined on the basis of their reproductive status and women have no real choice: either they work or they make babies! This is translated in the policies adopted regarding maternal leave: no paid leave or short maternity leave (as it is the case in our countries)

Women Economic Empowerment Portal Newsletter || Issue #5 || First half of February 2013



In Morocco, encouraged by success, Soulalyates women make strides in land rights (The Democratic Association of Moroccan Women is providing leadership training to rural women of the Soulalyates ethnic group to enhance their advocacy for property and land ownership rights cemented in a 2012 ministerial ruling)

In Morocco, encouraged by success, Soulalyates women make strides in land rights

On the last day of her trip to Morocco to commemorate International Women’s Day, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, met with rural women of the Soulalyates ethnic group, who have been striving for inheritance and property rights. Photo Credit: UN Women/Karim Selmaoui

In the spring of 2012 the Moroccan Government granted men and women equal rights to benefit from incomes and profits gained from their land in a new order from the Ministry of the Interior. In the past, discriminatory laws had long deprived rural women of the Soulayates ethnic group of land ownership and benefits in Morocco.

Women had campaigned hard with the support of UN Women for their inheritance and property rights, so the new ruling was a historic victory.

The 2012 ruling underlines the need for national laws and policies to be in line with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Article 2, in particular, requires States “to take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women.”

Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior is now boosting efforts to disseminate information on the ruling. They have launched a web portal ( to provide users with information and data on collective lands, the laws and regulatory instruments governing land management, and information on the institutions that oversee the process. People’s response to the website has been positive.

“It is an initiative that answers, along with the 2009, 2011, 2012 rulings, to the commitments demanded by our association, as well as Constitutional dispositions regarding the right to access information. We are hoping that this will facilitate access to data and current affairs and allow civil society to follow-up on such issues,” said Khadija Oueldemmou, a member of the Democratic Association of Moroccan Women.

Collective lands represent the highest concentration of available land and natural resource reserves in Morocco. The collective lands historically belonged to certain ethnic groups and are governed by a law issued in 1919 regulating these groups’ customary practices. These lands were traditionally used collectively, though were later distributed to family groups, and more recently to male heads of households.

In recent years, the sale of collective lands to public and private real estate agencies has made people uneasy, and contributed hundreds of thousands of women feeling insecure, since compensation (money or plots of land located elsewhere) has traditionally only benefited men, regardless of age or marital status.

As lands around Soulalyates women are privatized, threatening their homes and livelihoods, UN Women along with the Democratic Association of Moroccan Women, are supporting their work and mobilization efforts. Training sessions on economic empowerment and leadership, community engagement and public speaking, have allowed the indigenous women to take their campaign to the broader public.

They made significant legal gains. In 2009 and 2010, following lobbying and high-profile press conferences held by Soulalyates women, Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior issued two rulings on the issue. These urged local authorities to ensure that gender equality principles are observed in sales, inheritances and property rights; and then expanded the recognition of women’s rights to sell and inherit communal land across the kingdom.

The latest 2012 ruling is a new step in the advancement of women’s rights in Morocco, allowing women not only to inherit or sell land but also to benefit from income from the land. However, these developments are limited to the extent that the rulings remain ministerial guidelines with a relatively limited legal status. These orders of the Ministry of the Interior are directives and can easily be removed by the Government.

Khadija Oueldemmou (right) is a member of the Democratic Association of Moroccan Women, which is working with the Soulalyates women to help them better advocate for their rights. Photo credit: Democratic Association of Moroccan Women.

Therefore, Soulalyates women are now advocating for a law that will institutionally ensure that the provisions in the three ministerial rulings are implemented. A law would ensure permanence. A petition, launched by the Democratic Association of Moroccan Women, calls for the law to affirm the equality between men and women on collective lands and property as well as incomes and compensation. Khadija says her Association is also identifying and training a small group of 25 Soulalyates women from all regions to improve on their communications and leadership skills.

“Our added value, our expertise, consists in training these women to become the leaders and spokespeople for this movement so that they can engage more directly in advocacy and learn to better position their demands,” she concludes.

Related links:

Unpaid Care Work

In the context of poverty, unpaid care work is more time-consuming and difficult forcing mainly women and girls to give up their rights to an education, a decent job or even just a few minutes to rest.

We are calling on governments to finance the public services that will help to reduce women’s unpaid care work and tackle gender inequality – so that women and girls are not disproportionately responsible. 

Care is essential but it continues to be undervalued and invisible.

Over an 18 month period, we worked with women from 10 rural and urban communities in Nepal, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda to track their unpaid care work. This research produced some interesting results, which you can read in our report – Making Care Visible – and by using the infographic below.

You can click on various activities at the top of the infographic to see how people’s times spent on these tasks compares across genders. You can also select a specific country to look at more closely from the buttons below.


Le travail d’une mère au foyer vaut 152 000 $ par année!

Si elle était payée, une mère au foyer gagnerait un salaire annuel de 138 095 dollars US par an (152 727 $ CAN) pour toutes les heures passées à réaliser des tâches domestiques.

Si elle était payée, une mère au foyer gagnerait un salaire annuel de 138 095 dollars US par an (152 727 $ CAN) pour toutes les heures passées à réaliser des tâches relevant de fonctions aussi diverses que cuisinière à psychologue, selon une étude américaine parue jeudi. Le salaire annuel moyen et hypothétique d’une mère au foyer a augmenté en 2007 de 4000 dollars soit 3% par rapport à 2006, selon l’enquête de l’institut d’étude américain qui se base sur 40 000 mères.

Les mères au foyer (le nombre d’enfants n’a pas été précisé) travaillent 92 heures par semaine, dont les 40 heures règlementaires et 52 heures supplémentaires, payées théoriquement plus cher. «Les mères réalisent des tâches multiples et font rarement de pause, travaillant 52 heures supplémentaires en moyenne» chaque semaine, a indiqué Bill Coleman, vice-président de

Pas moins de dix métiers correspondent au travail très varié d’une mère au foyer et ont été ainsi valorisés dans l’étude: femme de ménage, aide maternelle, cuisinière, technicienne de machine à laver, concierge, opératrice d’ordinateur, gérante dans un bâtiment, conductrice, pdg et psychologue. Par comparaison aux États-Unis, un responsable marketing gagne en moyenne 89 200 dollars US annuels et un représentant commercial 62 500 dollars US indique


Source : Agence France-Presse, 3 mai 2007