Gender Inequalities and Fertility in Morocco: Measuring Women’s Empowerment and Impact on the Ideal Number of Children

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Chaimae Drioui
Fatima Bakass


In Morocco, access to rights for women has strengthened over the decades. Their social status has significantly improved. This study aims to measure women’s empowerment, particularly in the domestic sphere and in relation to spouses, and its effect on women’s fertility preferences. Women’s empowerment is estimated following a similar approach to constructing the SWPER composite index, which is based on several dimensions such as education, decision-making, and attitude towards domestic violence as proposed in the literature. An empirical examination of empowerment’s impact on fertility preferences, measured by the ideal number of children, was conducted using a generalized Poisson regression model. The data are from two surveys, the 2003-2004 Population and Family Health Survey and the 2011 National Population and Family Health Survey. The results corroborate women’s empowerment in reducing the ideal number of children through independence from traditional social norms, increased bargaining power, and communication within the couple. Women’s access to educational resources appears to be a key factor, especially when it comes to fertility planning, as well as the rejection of male violence.


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Drioui, C., & Bakass, F. (2021). Gender Inequalities and Fertility in Morocco: Measuring Women’s Empowerment and Impact on the Ideal Number of Children. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 29(-), 325 - 350. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Chaimae Drioui, National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics, GES3D Laboratory, Morocco

Corresponding author


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