Research Article

Two Rings and a Doctorate: Gender and Marital Status in the Pursuit of Ph.D. Success in Moroccan Universities



This study provides a qualitative examination of the intersected impact of gender and marital status on Ph.D. success for both men and women in Morocco. Utilizing semi-structured interviews with 20 married doctoral students from both genders across three Moroccan universities, the research revealed a significant divergence in the lived experiences and Ph.D. success indicators of married men and women. Men were generally encouraged by gender expectations, which often served as a motivator in their academic journey, whereas women faced hurdles due to these expectations, as their academic roles often collided with traditional roles as wives and mothers. Both genders, however, reported struggles in maintaining work-life balance, with women experiencing more challenges due to social expectations and conventional gender roles. This research emphasized the importance of a strong support system and a conducive home environment for academic success. Cultural context significantly influenced the participants’ academic journey, stressing the need for societal change and redefinition of traditional gender roles. The findings suggest the need for institutional and societal efforts to establish a supportive infrastructure for all Ph.D. students, irrespective of their marital status or gender.

Article information


Journal of Gender, Culture and Society

Volume (Issue)

4 (1)





How to Cite

EL IDRISSI, K., Bouzar, A., & Ghourdou, T. (2024). Two Rings and a Doctorate: Gender and Marital Status in the Pursuit of Ph.D. Success in Moroccan Universities. Journal of Gender, Culture and Society, 4(1), 20–28.



Married Ph.D. Students, Gender Roles, Societal Expectations, Work-Life Balance, Moroccan context