Morocco World News
Morocco World News
Fez, August 7, 2012
Moroccan women associations have finally raised their voice to denounce the blunder made by the Head of the Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, when used a language that harmed their image. According to the news website Goud.ma, the organization “Female Spring for Democracy and Equality”, demanded that the head of the government “present an official apology to Moroccan women” in the wake of the disparaging language he used against them.
During an interview given to Al Jazeera on July 25, and in response to the the journalist who asked him if he was going to follow a heavy-handed policy against corrupt officials, Abdelilah Benkirane, emphasized that his motto is to forgive those who previously embezzled Morocco’s public funds. He went on to say that he did not come to the government to fight like women in the hamams. “I came to redress the situation of the country, rather than fight like women in hamams,” he noted.
The video footage where he pronounced this sentence went viral as soon as the interview was aired on the Doha-based Al Jazerra.
This statement was perceived as the last straw from the head of government whose style and body language are perceived by the majority of Moroccan as unsuitable for a head of government.
A large number of Moroccans are of the view that, through his poor communications skills and his populist style, Abdelilah Benkirane has proved that he does not deserve to be the Prime Minister, adding that the PJD could have chosen another member of the party to head the government. The name that is frequently mentioned is that of Saad Eddine Othmani, the current Foreign Minister, known for his calmness and his communication skills.
“A Prime Minister of a kingdom like ours should have high skills in communication (or go get training). He’s not allowed to talk like two guys standing on the street. No big No. This is our country and he’s accountable for every statement he says and mainly to the media,” said Hind –Ech-Cheikh commenting on the controversial video footage. “This is not the first time, what he says in Davos was a shame too for our country,” she added.
“I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard him saying that he came to reform a state but not fight like women in hamam. That shows a sense of irresponsibility from a head of Government who should use appropriate language to explain his statements, especially when he is speaking to millions of people across the Arab World, who do not necessarily understand our culture nor our language,” Karima Rhanem, a Rabat-based activist and columnist, told Morocco World News.
“I am also surprised about his supporters who are trying to justify his constant slips of the tongue, I think he should have a communication adviser staff to teach him how to address different audiences. What he said gave a bad connotation that women are only here to fight, and I think he should apologize to Moroccan women for this”, she added.
“Why would he bring women in a belittling statement. To be honest, women know how to argue, debate and make a point better than him. He has no communication skills whatsoever! I am tired of his populist speeches,” said Fatima Zahmoun, a Moroccan activist based in Toronto, Canada.