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Career Aspirations - Morocco

Despite very low rates of formal employment reported (see “Paid Work and Control of Earnings & Assets” Topic Brief), Figure 4 shows that majorities of both women (60%) and men (77%) under age 25 say they plan to pursue a career. In addition, 19% of men and 5% of women in this age group reported that they were already working toward a career.

As with educational aspirations, there are marked differences among women in Morocco when it comes to career aspirations.

  • Although 80% of unmarried women under age 25 either intend to pursue a career or already work in their chosen field, fewer than half of married women say they would like to pursue a career. Since this question was only asked of respondents in the youngest age group, 18 to 24,  differences in attitudes and behaviors between married and unmarried women cannot be attributed to different age profiles among the groups.
  • Urban-dwelling women ages 18 to 24 are much more likely than rural women in the same age group to say they intend to pursue a career or are already doing so. Whereas half of women living in rural areas say they  intend to pursue a career (50%) and 2% are already doing so, over three quarters of urban women either already work in a career or plan to in the future (77%).
  • Amazigh-speaking women report lower career aspirations than their Arabic- and French-speaking counterparts. Fewer than half of Amazigh-speaking women already do or intend to pursue a career (45%), compared to more than seven in ten Arabic- and French-speaking women (72%).

As shown in Figure 5, women’s career aspirations are related to the level of education they have achieved.

  • Only 32% of women under age 25 without any formal schooling intend to pursue a career, but among women who have completed primary school, 62% have career aspirations. Nearly eight in ten of those who have finished secondary school or more would like to pursue a career. Including those who are already working toward a career, 90% of the highest educational attainers plan to pursue a career, compared to just 35% among women with the least amount of schooling.
  • A similar pattern exists in the relationship between socioeconomic status and career aspirations: 51% of women indentifying as belonging to the lowest socioeconomic category (measured by responses to a question inquiring about whether a family’s income is enough to meet their basic needs) intend to or already are pursuing a career, compared to 92% of women in the highest group.
  • Among women who indicated they were interested in pursuing a career and had a particular career in mind, the most popular prospective occupation was Teacher (18%), followed by Tailor (13%) and Doctor (11%), as Table 3 shows. The fact that the non-professional occupation of clothing alteration is among the most popular career paths suggests that it is not only the highly-educated elite that aspires toward having a career, but also those considering work in the trades or handicrafts.
  • Among those Moroccan women who stated that they did not intend to pursue a career, 49% specified that they would not pursue a career because their parents or husband would not allow them to work. Twenty-four percent of the women surveyed responded that they would prefer to be homemakers, and one in ten said they would prefer to focus on getting married. In turn, aspirations seem to meet a harsh reality: despite a large majority of Moroccan women reporting that they intend to work and pursue a career, only 10% currently do so, compared to 69% of men.

For more information on actual labor force participation in Morocco, see the “Paid Work and Control of Earnings and Assets” Topic Brief.