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Child Marriage: CESE Identifies Negative Repercussions on Women’s Socio-Economic Future

Morocco’s Economic, Social, and Environmental Council (CESE) recently issued a report entitled “Child Marriage and Its Negative Repercussions on Their Economic and Social Status” addressing the effects of child marriage in Morocco and warning that it may jeopardize minor girls’ prospects for success by excluding them from education and training, and limiting their opportunities for economic participation.

CESE is a constitutional body created by King Mohammed VI in 2011 to conduct studies and provide recommendations to the government on, among other things, public policies, sustainable development, and regionalization. The group’s members bring a wide range of experience and expertise to the Council’s work of developing recommendations for Morocco’s transformation and program development.

The report found that early marriage has a detrimental impact not only on the future social and financial position of girls after maturity, but also on the country’s overall economic and social growth.

Based on the council’s data, the report found that, overall, around 75% of girls aged 15 to 17 attended school during the 2021-2022 academic year, about the same attendance ratio for boys of the same age. The statistic represents a significant 62.8% rise in girls’ overall education rates compared to the 2009-2010 academic year.

However, in rural regions, only 47.6% of girls aged 15 to 17 enrolled in school, compared to about 56.4% of boys, suggesting a disparity in access to education for girls in rural regions.

The report revealed a correlation between child marriage and decreased economic productivity rates among Moroccan women, with those who married under the age of 18 having a lower level of economic participation in Morocco’s economy. It concluded that most child marriages result in decreased economic activity by women and less labor market access.

The report called for government action to address the barriers posed by child marriage in Morocco, particularly in rural areas, to safeguard the educational and economic prospects of young girls.