Returning young girls from child labor, to their families and into education, helps them to escape the cycle
of abuse and poverty.
“My entering college is the most positive thing that happened to me in 2009 because it gave me hope for a better future.” Saadia, 15 years, former ’little maid’.
Experts believe more than half of the 600,000 child laborers in Morocco are girls under the age of 15, some as young as six. Many of them work long hours as domestic servants. Often referred as ‘petites bonnes’ or little maids, these young girls are vulnerable to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. With few education opportunities, most find themselves illiterate as adults. Without family or other support, and with few skills, most live in poverty on the margins of society and some turn to prostitution to survive.
Despite Moroccan law prohibiting child labor, the practice remains prevalent due to extreme poverty, poor access to education (particularly for girls), and widespread social acceptance of child labor.
The Womanity Foundation, through its local partner – Institution Nationale de Solidarité avec les Femmes en Détresse (INSAF) – has been working in Chichaoua since 2005. This is one of the main poor rural regions from where many of Morocco’s little maids are recruited, usually by brokers, to work in middle class urban households.
The project began with three key goals:
Read our latest report on Eradicating Girls’ Labor in Morocco.
Institution Nationale de Solidarité avec les Femmes en Détresse (INSAF), authorities, and local associations. Womanity funded INSAF’s activities alongside other donors including UN Women, Coopération Belge, Drosos Foundation, and L’Oréal Foundation.