The Minister of Solidarity, Social Inclusion, and Family, Aawatif Hayar, presented to the House of Councilors, on July 20, the programs and initiatives launched by her Ministry to involve women in the development process and promote the social and economic integration of people with disabilities.
Intervening at a round table on “Integrating the issues of women, youth, and people with disabilities into local development programs as an approach to territorial justice,” which was organized at the initiative of the Moroccan Labor Union team at the House of Councilors, Hayar underlined that sustainable development cannot be achieved without adopting an approach based on gender equality, involving women in the development process, socially and economically integrating vulnerable groups, and encouraging innovation.
Regarding the integration of women’s issues into local development programs, the Minister noted that her department adopted a participatory and territorial approach in drafting the third government equality plan for 2023-2026 and its strategic framework for equality and equity by 2035, which aims to promote equality and equity through sectoral programs.
Hayar explained that the government’s plan is based on three major axes, namely “empowerment and entrepreneurship” to strengthen women’s economic activity and political participation and their access to decision-making positions, and “protection and well-being,” which aims to combat violence against women and under-age marriage while supporting and protecting all victims of violence and implementing a system against violence.
The Minister added that the third axis concerns “rights and values,” through collective mobilization in all fields to build a society free from discrimination and negative stereotypes touching on women.
In a similar context, Hayar noted that the “Jisr for Empowerment and Leadership” program, launched by the Ministry of Solidarity, Social Inclusion, and Family in partnership with several local actors, targets 3.000 women seeking to create social and economic development projects at the regional level, with a total of 36.000 women nationwide, including women with disabilities, young girls and women in difficulty, noting that the overall budget for this program amounts to approximately MAD 322 million, with the Ministry contributing MAD 140.5 million.
On the subject of promoting the rights of people with disabilities, the Minister affirmed that a new disability assessment system will be implemented and will serve as the main reference for the issuance of the special card for people with disabilities, emphasizing the importance of accelerating digital transition, through a series of measures and services, including the “Khadamaty” digital platform and the “Raafiq+” national qualification program for professionals working with autistic people.
The Moroccan minister pointed out that the program to support the schooling of children with disabilities is one of the most important development programs, adding that in 2022, this program offered educational, rehabilitative, and paramedical services across all its centers and establishments for over 21.000 children with disabilities.
Hayar also recalled the framework partnership agreement signed with the Ministry of National Education, Preschool and Sports relating to the fight against school dropout among children with special needs, as well as a framework partnership and cooperation agreement on inclusive education for people with disabilities.
The Moroccan official further stressed that her Ministry is committed to implementing the national “Accessible Cities” program, because of its importance in enhancing access to different services for people with disabilities, through monitoring the implementation of partnership agreements signed with 22 local authorities at the local level, to improve and develop accessibility for people with disabilities in different regions and guaranteeing their integration into public life.