Rabat – Morocco still has work to do in bridging the gender gap between men and women a report has found. The country ranks 139 out of 145 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on November 18.With a score of 0.593 out of 1, Morocco ranks in the bottom tier of of countries among whom are Oman, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Chad, Syria, Pakistan and lastly Yemen. The index determines rank based on four key indicators: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, political empowerment.According to the data published, economic participation and educational attainment lowers Morocco’s score as health and political empowerment for women place the kingdom in the top 100 countries.Women in Morocco are less represented in politics, in ministerial positions and parliament where women occupy about 20 per of seats. Also, women generally work less than men according to the labour market figures and those who do earn less than men.Morocco is the third-best performing country in the Middle East – North Africa region on Health and Survival, but it also the third-lowest performing country on Educational Attainment, where it has closed less than 92% of the gender gap, according to the report. “Since 2006 [Morocco] has improved across all subindexes except Economic Participation and Opportunity, where it is the world’s third-least improved country,” the report states.However, The MENA region has made progress on Educational Attainment – where it closed 93 per cent of the gender gap – and Health and Survival – where nearly 97 per cent of the gender gap closed. Globally the region as a whole ranks fifth, surpassing Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and the Pacific, respectively.The report, published since 2006 provides a history of the index of gender equality since its launch. The kingdom has virtually remained at the same stage in the rankings, its overall score has improved by 0,011 over the course of the last ten years.WEF founder and chairman Klaus Schwab called for more to be done to bridge the gender gap in societies, saying it is “through each individual adapting his or her beliefs and actions that change can occur.”“People and their talents are among the core drivers of sustainable, long-term economic growth. If half of these talents are underdeveloped or underutilized, growth and sustainability will be compromised,” he said in the report.“Moreover, there is a compelling and fundamental values case for empowering women: women represent one half of the global population—they deserve equal access to health, education, earning power and political representation.”
Mr. Ban “is deeply concerned by the increased security threats faced by UNAMID in Darfur. He calls on all parties to fulfil their responsibility to ensure the safety and security of UN and UN-associated personnel in Sudan,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.Approximately eight unknown gunmen opened fire on an escort patrol that was returning to its base in Nyala, South Darfur, wounding one peacekeeper as the blue helmets returned fire in self-defence, UNAMID said in a news release. The wounded soldier was immediately taken for medical treatment at the mission’s hospital in Nyala and later died while being evacuated to Al Fasher for further medical treatment.“These ongoing attacks against UNAMID peacekeepers will not dissuade us from pursuing our mandate in Darfur,” AU-UN Joint Representative Rodolphe Adada said.This is the second time in just over a week that UNAMID peacekeepers have been ambushed by unknown armed men while conducting their duties in Darfur, as concerns mount over the safety of humanitarian workers, many of whom have been ordered to leave the region following the recent indictment of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.On 9 March four peacekeepers were shot and wounded in a patrol that was returning to its base in El Geneina, West Darfur, and, following that incident, a UN spokesperson said that the number of attacks against peacekeeping personnel and incidents of banditry in 2009 to that date had exceeded those for the entirety of 2008.On the humanitarian front, the Secretary-General is continuing to make telephone calls to leaders in Africa and the Middle East to address the humanitarian situation in Darfur, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters.Sudan decided to begin ejecting 13 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on 4 March, immediately after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for President Al-Bashir.An estimated 300,000 people have died and another 3 million have been displaced in the western region of Sudan, where rebels have been fighting Government forces and allied Arab militiamen, known as the Janjaweed, since 2003. 17 March 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) have condemned an ambush earlier today that led to the death of one blue helmet, the second such attack on peacekeepers in the strife-torn region of Sudan in a week.