Benkirane Tells Moroccan Women to Stay Home, While His Wife Is…

Rabat- Following an impassioned speech by Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane before the parliament in which he suggested that a women’s place is in the household rather than in the workplace, Secretary General of the Istiqlal Party, Hamid Chabat, slammed on Friday Benkirane’s remarks. “Benkirane tells Moroccan women stay at home while his wife is working,” said Hamid Chabat. Speaking to his supporters during a meeting of the Istiqlal party in Tangier on Friday, Hamid Chabat wondered, “how can the Head of Government tell Moroccan women that their place is in the household rather than in the workplace while his wife works at a private school, offered to them by Driss El Bassri?’’ Chabat considers Benkirane’s remarks as a blatant contradiction of his actual political stance. He pointed out that despite Benkirane’s belief that women choose not to participate in politics and that he “can’t force them to participate in the political sphere,” he now states that a woman‘s place is in the home as a mother rather than in the workplace.Edited by Timothy Filla read more

Hong Kongers accuse Frances Lancome of kowtowing to Beijing

HONG KONG – French cosmetics company Lancome has sparked a backlash in Hong Kong after it cancelled a promotional concert featuring a singer known for pro-democracy views, with many accusing it of caving to political pressure from Beijing.Cantopop singer and outspoken celebrity activist Denise Ho was scheduled to perform on June 19. But after word of the event got out, China’s nationalist Global Times newspaper criticized Lancome over the weekend through its microblogging Weibo account.Lancome then said Sunday on its Hong Kong Facebook page that the event had been cancelled because of unspecified “safety reasons.” It also sought to distance itself from Ho in a separate post, saying that she’s not its spokeswoman.The statements earned Lancome thousands of angry Facebook comments, with many calling for a boycott of the company.Ho fired back with her own Facebook statement, saying that the company “unilaterally” cancelled a “pure artistic collaboration.”“When a global brand like Lancome has to kneel down to a bullying hegemony, we must face the problem seriously as the world’s values have been seriously twisted,” said Ho, who backed pro-democracy protesters who took to the streets in 2014 over Beijing’s decision to restrict elections in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese city.Ho is also a supporter of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, and posted a picture on Facebook last month of their meeting on her birthday. Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to separate Tibet from China. Tibetans and the Dalai Lama say they simply want a higher degree of autonomy under Chinese rule.The Global Times fueled the controversy Tuesday when it said in an op-ed piece that Lancome scrapped the event because it could not risk alienating mainland China, whose market dwarfs Hong Kong’s.“Apparently Lancome has given more consideration to the sentiment of the mainland public, because the mainland boasts a much larger market than Hong Kong,” the article said.There were also calls on Chinese social media to boycott Lancome products, underscoring the dilemma for the company in balancing profit and principle.Lancome’s parent company, French cosmetics giant L’Oreal, said in its most recent annual report that the brand “performed strongly” in China last year, but also noted that Hong Kong was a “difficult market.”Ho is not the first artist to pay a price for displeasing China’s communist leaders. Bon Jovi and Maroon 5 have also had concerts in China cancelled over images or tweets about the Dalai Lama. Earlier this year, Taiwanese teen pop star Chou Tzu-yu was forced to apologize by her management firm for waving Taiwan’s flag on South Korean TV because of worries about offending China. by Kelvin Chan, The Associated Press Posted Jun 7, 2016 3:39 am MDT Last Updated Jun 7, 2016 at 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Dec. 11, 2014, file photo, Cantopop singer and outspoken celebrity activist Denise Ho, center, accompanied with other protesters attends a sit-in rally at the occupied area outside government headquarters in Hong Kong. French cosmetics company Lancome has sparked a backlash in Hong Kong after it canceled a promotional concert featuring the singer known for pro-democracy views, with many accusing it of caving to political pressure from Beijing. Lancome said Sunday, June 5, 2016 on its Hong Kong Facebook page that the event had been canceled because of unspecified “safety reasons.” It It also sought to distance itself from Ho in a separate post, saying that she’s not its spokesperson. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File) Hong Kongers accuse France’s Lancome of kowtowing to Beijing read more