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BRIEFJuly 20, 2023

Call for Essays: Enhancing Women’s Economic Opportunities in Morocco

Morocco call for essays mena July 2023


Please submit your essays to this email address:

Ahead of the 2023 World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings “Road to Marrakesh,” the WBG is organizing a series of events and initiatives on key topics. As part of these activities, we are pleased to launch a call for essays from Moroccan residents on themes related to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

Interested applicants are invited to submit their essay on the themes detailed (multiple themes can be selected) below:

  • Enhancing Women’s Voice and Agency
  • Removing Constraints for increased Female Labor Force Participation
  • Removing Barriers to Women’s Control & Ownership of Assets
  • Elevate human capital and end GBV
  • Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality
  • Social norms
  • Gender and data
  • Role of digital for a greater women inclusion
  • Climate change and the potential of the green growth for women’s employment

The blog/essay should focus on current constraints for women’s participation in the labor market and contribute with the author’s ideas for innovative ways to address existing constraints and support women’s economic opportunities through policies and programs. Authors are invited to share their personal experiences, well anchored in evidence and data.

Up to three submissions will be selected and the author will be paired with a World Bank expert to work together to make any additional edits and reflections required to prepare the piece for publication as a jointly authored World Bank blog or story. Authors of featured submissions will be invited to come to Rabat for a conference on women’s economic opportunities, during which the essay/blog would be presented in a ‘lightning talk’; (ii) participate in a reception for all selected authors in the Rabat office; and (iii) co-publish an edited volume of the paper in the ‘World Bank Maghreb Technical Working Papers’ which would be available publicly through the World Bank’s website.

Background on women’s labor and social issues in Morocco

Via its new National Development Plan, the Government of Morocco has set the ambitious objective to raise the Female Labor Force Participation rate from 20% in 2022 to 30% by 2026, and 45% by 2035. In Morocco, Female Labor Force Participation is among the lowest in the world, just around the average for MENA countries (18%), and well below the global average (46%). Various barriers compound structural weak job creation to prevent women from participating in the economy, including the lack of affordable/acceptable childcare options and secure transportation, social norms, GBV, inequalities in the legal framework and weak law enforcement, and non-family friendly working conditions.

In Morocco, the World Bank, under its Facility for Women’s Economic and Social Inclusion is working to increase the evidence base needed for impactful and targeted policies to support women’s economic empowerment.

The 2023 Annual Meetings will be held from October 9-15 in Marrakech, a highly symbolic date as it marks the return of the Annual Meetings to Africa after they were held for the first time in Nairobi, 50 years ago.

Eligibility criteria

  • All applicants must be 28 years of age or younger and residing in Morocco at the time of submission of the proposal.
  • Submissions must be original and neither currently published nor under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • Submissions to be written in English, and not exceed 1,500 words (excluding footnotes, illustrations and bibliography).
  • Submissions can be single-authored or co-authored (maximum of 2 persons, eligibility criteria apply for both applicants).

Evaluation criteria

The submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Clear and compelling storyline
  • Level of innovation and feasibility of proposed solutions
  • Use of accurate and timely data to support analysis
  • Use of relevant graphics (graphs, tables, infographics, pictures; max 3 per submission) to illustrate the story and data presented

Instruction &Timeline

  • Interested applicants should submit their proposal by September 3rd, 2023, 23:59pm EST in English.
  • Proposals should also include CVs of the principal author and include their date of birth/age and country of residence.
  • Applicants should send their proposal to
  • No submissions will be accepted after the deadline.
  • Decisions will be communicated during the month of September 2023.

For any further questions, please email

Useful resources:

Students are encouraged to apply irrespective of their age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.