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Assets and Credit - Morocco

As can be seen in Figure 16, very few Moroccan women have their own assets that could be drawn up on times of financial need. Barely more than one in ten currently or formerly married women report having any financial savings, and fewer than this have land or an apartment or house with the title in their name, or portable items of high value such as a car or jewelry.

Although few Moroccan women at all have financial assets, some groups are more likely to have them than others.

  • Arabic  speaking women are twice as likely to have financial savings as their Amazigh-speaking counterparts, and urban dwellers are similarly more likely to have these assets than women living in rural areas. The benefit of employment is even stronger: working women are three times as likely to have their own financial assets as women who do not work for pay.
  • Not surprisingly, better-educated women are more likely to own assets. Just 9% of women with no formal education have financial savings or property in their name, and only 4% have items of high value. In comparison, nearly half (49%) of women with a postsecondary degree have financial savings, one in four has property in her name, and 42% has items of high value.
  • Thirteen percent of currently married and 12% of formerly married Moroccan women say they can obtain bank loans or other credit without help from a spouse or parent. Eighty-four percent say they cannot get credit on their own, and 3% say they don’t know or refused. Once again, there are significant differences among subgroups.
  • Most strikingly, employment dramatically increases women’s access to credit: 43% of women who work for pay, but only 10% of women who do not, can obtain loans or credit on their own.
  • Women between the ages of 18 and 54 are similarly able to obtain loans (between 12% and 18% based on age group), but access drops dramatically for women over 55. Only 6% of women over age 55 can obtain loans without help from a spouse.
  • Urban dwelling women are more likely to have access to credit (17%) than women in rural areas (9%).
  • Not surprisingly, education improves access to credit. While only 8% of women with no formal education can get credit or loans, this number steadily rises with educational attainment, reaching 51% among women with a postsecondary degree.

Among women who said they did have access to credit, the most common source was from micro lenders such as Amana, Zakoura, and Fondep (27%). Twenty-three percent said they could get loans or credit from commercial banks, and almost as many said they rely on relatives or their parents for loans or credit (22%) (Table 1).

Nearly half of currently or formerly married Moroccan women say they would be unable to financially support themselves and their family without the income provided by their husband or family.

  • About one in three women (29%) are confident they could support themselves and their family on their own, and 2% are already doing so (combined into one category in Figure 18).
  • Women’s confidence in their ability to support themselves declines with age, from 39% among women 18 to 24 to 9% among women 65 and older (11% if those already supporting themselves are included).
  • Women who are Arabic speakers (32%), employed (56%), and live in urban areas (34%) are more likely to say they could support themselves and their family without a husband or family’s income, than those who are Amazigh speakers (20%), not wage earners (26%), and live in rural areas (23%).