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Gender-Responsive Budgeting: Morocco

Morocco’s gender-responsive budgeting tools support gender equality advancements (2002–ongoing)

May 2, 2024
Author: Rabab Hteit

Since 2002, Morocco has steadily embraced Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB). This public policy tool analyzes central and local administrative budgets to assess the distributional impact of public spending across women and men. The GRB is executed through an annual report that discerns gender-related funding disparities, outlines strategies for bridging these gaps, and offers recommendations to guarantee sufficient funding for national and local initiatives promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.1

Morocco ratified the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)  in 1993. In the early 2000s, the government began implementing a series of reforms with the aim of promoting gender equality, which included the commitment to Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB). This was in part motivated by a study conducted by the World Bank and Ministry of Finance and Privatization (MEF) which found very minimal allocations for women in the public budget.  

In 2015, the Law of Finance (LOF) formally institutionalized Gender Resource Budgeting (GRB), mandating the inclusion of an annual gender report in the Finance Bill and requiring all ministries and local authorities to integrate gender considerations into their line budgets. The launch of GRB coincided with the adoption of the National Strategy for Gender Equality and Equity (NSGEE)2 which aims to reduce disparities between the genders; in terms of rights, access to resources, and economic opportunities; and in terms of political influence.3

Specifically, GRB entails that budget planning for ministries and public programs disaggregate public spending targets by gender. It is a tool that aims to ensure public spending  works for everyonewomen and men, girls and boysby allowing governments to work towards a more gender-equitable distribution of resources. The GRB handbook provides guidelines for implementation for all policymakers and stakeholders.4 Along with UN Women, MEF ran an awareness campaign for GRB throughout the government to ensure civil servants were informed of GRB.5, 6

An essential part of GRB is the annual gender reports, which detail the distributional impacts of the budget to women and men. Since 2005, the Ministry of Finance and Economy has released an annual gender report. The annual report provides recommendations to advance women’s empowerment. The reporting has evolved: the first gender reports identified gender gaps and set goals for future performance; in 2011, it included a section focused on human rights as a basis for better budget allocations; and in 2015, the reports started including tables showing the share of women employed in each departmentspecifying women’s share in management positions.7


The road to implementing GRB began in 2002. From 2002 to 2005, an internal advocacy campaign raised awareness for GRB alongside the handbook to internal governmental stakeholders In 2005, they published the first GRB report and have subsequently released a new annual report since.8

Between 2005 and 2008, GRB was piloted in four government ministries: Economy and Finance, Health, Literacy and Non Formal Education, and Employment and Vocational Training.9 At the same time, community-based monitoring systems were established to collect gender-disaggregated data, a prerequisite for implementing gender-based budgeting.10 Following the introduction of gender-disaggregated data, and the pilot scheme, GRB was steadily rolled out across further ministries within the Moroccan federal government.11

In 2013, the Center of Excellence for Gender Responsive Budgeting (CE-BSG) was created by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in collaboration with UN Women to oversee the implementation of GRB. In 2015, the Law of Finance (LOF) legally institutionalized GRB, stipulating that an annual gender report should be included with the Finance Bill12 and that line budgets across all ministries and local authorities should mainstream gender.13 By 2015, a gender budget report was already being produced annually, but the law institutionalized it.


In 2018, AFD (The French Development Agency) provided a conditional EUR 100 million (USD 107 million) loan to seven Moroccan ministries to implement GRB, conditional on tangible proof of commitment to GRB. AFD also provided a EUR 1 million (USD 1.07 million) grant to UN Women to facilitate the implementation of GRB within the Moroccan government.14 In 2018, the EU allocated EUR 250,000 (USD 268,000) for 13 European experts to build capacity within the Moroccan  Center of Excellence for Gender Responsive Budgeting (CE-BSG).15


Morocco was the first Arab country to implement GRB in 2002. In a 2014 evaluation, UN Women celebrated GRB for driving the inclusion of gender equality in the 2011 constitution.16 In the same year, Morocco received a “UN Public Administration Award” for its accomplishments in GRB.17

By 2022, 38 Moroccan ministerial departments from 25 ministries had adopted GRB.18 The annual gender report has been successfully published every year and has detailed the degree of gender-responsive budgeting in different sectors like health, education, transport, and infrastructure.19

There has been a steady evolution and improvement of the annual reports. The first reports focused on assessing gender gaps and setting targets for future performance. In 2011, a focus on human rights was added, and measurable indicators on human rights were introduced in 2012. From 2015, the reports detail the share of women in employment and women in managerial positions in every economic sector,20 which laid the basis for the 2021 law on female quotas on the boards of publicly traded companies. The quota law stipulates that at least 30 percent of board members for publicly traded companies should be women by 2024, and 40 percent by 2027.21 

The direct impact of GRB is difficult to assess, and any improvements or setbacks in Morocco’s gender indexes cannot be linked to GRB alone.  Nonetheless, without GRB, it is impossible to assess the degree to which public budgets cater to gender equality and women’s empowerment, so GRB plays a critical role in increasing transparency and accountability around the government’s commitment to gender equality.

UNIFEM linked GBR to the increase in the funding allocated to women’s livelihood activities by the Ministry of Agriculture, from MAD 5 million (USD 490,000) in 2002, to MAD 6.3 million (USD 617,000) in 2006. This was also done to shape concrete changes in budget allocations to support rural women, girls’ education, and female access to basic infrastructure, but researchers believe that it is impossible to attribute these improvements solely to GRB, considering that these areas are targeted by many institutions and donor initiatives.22

Additional Information

The gender reports are important tools for implementing gender equality in policymaking, but when presented to the parliament, the latter has limited time and capacity to analyze these reports. In addition, it has little power to act upon the recommendations, which contributes to slowing down the progress towards gender equality.23