Ahmed El Bouazzaoui, Abdessalam Fazouane, Hind Jalal and Salama Saidi
Morocco has taken significant steps in the past 15 years towards achieving greater gender equality. It ratified CEDAW in 1993 and in December 2008 announced the forthcoming withdrawal of its reservations.1 The government is also committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including Goal 3 – to promote gender equality and empower women (see High Commission for Planning, 2005, 2007). The new Family Code, adopted in 2004, and the Nationality Code of 2007 should also be considered major gender equality reforms. Among other things, these reforms give women greater autonomy with regard to divorce and citizenship rights.
Government efforts to implement gender-responsive budgeting began in 2002, under the direction of the Ministry of Finance. The first positive impacts are already evident, especially with regard to expenditure on education, health, basic infrastructure and justice. However a gender perspective has yet to be applied on the revenue side of the budget.
This chapter investigates the gender dimensions of taxation in Morocco.2 It first provides a brief summary of the country's income and employment structure from a gender perspective and reviews the overall tax structure, highlighting major trends and current policy debates. It then examines personal income tax (PIT) in detail, pointing out explicit and implicit gender biases and illustrating how it affects different types of households, and reviews the way in which indirect taxes, primarily value-added tax (VAT), excise tax and fuel tax, affect different gender groups. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the results of several policy simulations and offers policy recommendations.
The economically active population in Morocco aged 15 years and older was 11.1 million in 2007. Women's labour force participation rate was 27.1 per cent, much lower than the rate for men. In urban areas, 71.5 per cent of men were in the labour force, compared to 19.6 per cent of women. In rural areas, the rates were 84.6 per cent in 2007 for men and 37.7 per cent for women.