A recent study issued by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) revealed that the percentage of people under the age of 15 in Morocco is expected to decrease to 17.9 percent of the total population by 2050, after this age group represented a quarter of the total population in 2020. .
In contrast, the same study, entitled “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Arab Countries: Developing the Care Economy, A Case Study on the Economy of Services and Care Provided to the Elderly in Morocco,” recorded its expectations that the proportion of people over 60 years of age would rise to 15.5 percent. 2030, and 23.2 percent by 2050, to reach 10 million of the total population in the Kingdom.
As for the “oldest” people aged 70 or over, their number is expected to almost quadruple between 2014 and 2050, reaching 5 million by the latter. The same applies to the “very old” people, who are 80 years old and over, as their number will reach 1.47 million by 2050, an increase of three times compared to 2014 figures.
Women are more caring for the elderly
Law No. 65.15 related to social care institutions issued in 2018, according to the same study, contributed to paving the way for new forms of services, allowing the private sector to contribute to their provision. This law constitutes an important turning point in the provision of care services for the elderly in Morocco.
However, the study confirms that these services “do not meet the needs of society except to a limited extent, and therefore the greatest burden falls on family solidarity, which poses great challenges for caregivers, especially women.” The collected data confirm that “in the older generations, the age difference between the spouses is often large, and therefore the wife, who is relatively young, usually takes care of the elderly husband before becoming a widow later, and the opposite is not true.”-
The data indicate that “the widowed husband, even if he is elderly, often remarries,” adding that the feminization of help is also related to “the daily care provided to elderly parents, even when the parents (or one of them) live with one or more of their children, The responsibility for caring falls on the daughters-in-law, or even the granddaughters.”-
The same data confirm that Moroccan families often try to “organize themselves to choose from among their members a person, more specifically a woman, who has enough time, and therefore does not practice a professional activity, to take care of an elderly, non-independent parent.” that professionally active women face the problem of being dependent on them by an elderly parent”; It often affects their professional path, as the study recorded that some of them had to reorganize their professional lives in line with the needs of the people who took care of them.
A strategic vision for the care economy
On the institutional level, the study recommended the need to establish a joint national strategic vision on the care economy, “as an integral part of any national vision aimed at the economic empowerment of women, while recognizing their work in this framework and reducing its duration and redistributing it.”
On the technical level, the study recommends the need to “improve national statistical systems, especially with regard to managing available time and unpaid care activities in Morocco.” While working to establish the concept of home care as a socially acceptable service to reduce “the risks of exposure of the elderly to unintentional abuse by caregivers.”
The 41-page study concluded that it is necessary to enable people who take care of the elderly to reconcile their family and professional responsibilities, by seeking integration between achieving and organizing services on the basis of the needs of both the elderly and family caregivers.