Bassima Hakkaoui
Country: Morocco
PC CREDIT: Hassima Hakkaoui, the minister of family affairs, women and solidarity hails a law to combat violence against women adopted by the Moroccan Parliament. (File Photo: AFP)

Bassima Hakkaoui

Bassima Hakkaoui (Arabic: بسيمة الحقاوي‎ - born 5 October 1960, Casablanca) is a Moroccan politician of the Justice and Development Party. Since 3 January 2012, she has held the position of Minister of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development in Abdelilah Benkirane's cabinet. She has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2002, having been elected from the national list reserved for women. She was re-elected in 2007 and 2011. In 2018 a law went into effect throughout Morocco known as the Hakkaoui law because she drafted it; the law includes a ban on forced marriage and sexual harassment in public places, and harsher penalties for certain forms of violence. But it was criticized for requiring victims to file for criminal prosecution to get protection


Ms. Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister of Solidarity, Women, Family and Development, chaired Monday March 14, 2016 in New York, on the sidelines of the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the work of the side event organized by the Ministry, in partnership with the UN Women and the Union for the Mediterranean on the theme "Improving the implementation of laws against violence against women in the Mediterranean region: case from Morocco " Mrs. Bassima Hakkaoui presented, during this meeting, the efforts made by the Kingdom of Morocco to put an end to violence against women, amplified over the past 15 years, these efforts were crowned by a bill to fight against this phenomenon, which should be adopted by the next Governing Council and then presented to Parliament. This bill will undoubtedly make it possible to consolidate the national legal arsenal in this area. She pointed out that these efforts have started to bear fruit, noting that the Ministry of Justice and Freedoms revealed a decrease of 6.28% in cases of violence against women in 2015. The Minister also underlined the creation of reception units for women victims of violence at the level of the various courts of the Kingdom and of the hospitals, in addition to the establishment of the National Observatory of violence against women. in 2015, as well as the National Observatory of the Image of Women in the Media. She also recalled the role of awareness campaigns in the management of society. Attended this event Mr. Mohammad Naciri, Director of the Regional Office for Arab States of UN Women, Ms. Delphine Borione, Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Ms. Mirvet Tilaoui, Director General of the Organization of Arab woman, Mr. Jamal Chahidi, coordinator of the National Observatory of violence against women in Morocco, and Mrs. Farida El Khamlichi, President of the National Commission of International Humanitarian Law. This side event, characterized by a broad positive debate, which focused on several issues in relation to the consolidation of the human rights of women, and welcomed the Moroccan experience in the fight against all forms of discrimination and violence against women, in the presence of important representatives of Arab and foreign countries, representatives of international organizations, as well as members of the Moroccan delegation, which brings together representatives of government departments, civil society and two chambers of parliament. It should be recalled that the main theme of this 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, organized from March 14 to 24 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, is "The Empowerment of Women and its relationship with development. sustainable. "

Interview with Morocco's Minister Bassima Hakkaoui

''Some Politicians See Women as Intruders''

PJD politician Bassima Hakkaoui is the only woman to hold a ministerial post in Morocco's new, Islamist-dominated government. In conversation with Siham Ouchtou, the Minister for Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development addresses the concerns of women's rights organizations over the government's gender equality policy Bassima Hakkaoui: Of course I'm happy to have been entrusted with the job. The ministerial post does of course come with great responsibility, but it also gives me the opportunity to be involved in a government that is leading Morocco at a very special time. My inclusion as a woman could be viewed as a result of negotiations and the pressure that the parties felt themselves to be under – although by this I mean primarily time pressure, particularly during the last round of negotiations. Some of the ministers were also assigned different portfolios. In this regard I would like to say that politics certainly requires a solid political education. But in my view, a particular professional specialization isn't a reason for not giving a ministerial post to a particular person. For example, in the last government, the health minister Yasmina Baddou was a lawyer by profession. A particular profession should not be decisive in the allocation of a particular ministerial post. This is all the more pertinent because this condition is only applied to women.

PC CREDIT: The photo dated on August 22, 2015 shows Minister of Family Bassima Hakkaoui attending a meeting in the city of Sale. /VCG Photo

As far as the low representation of women is concerned, I think the time factor also had a lot to do with the fact that so few women were appointed to ministerial posts, although several key people were under discussion. But in the past you've blamed this on a lack of commitment to the idea within political parties themselves… Hakkaoui: That undoubtedly played a role, because if there had been a willingness to nominate women, this would have certainly happened. In our party, the candidates were chosen by democratic means. We also committed ourselves to this process. An internal party committee was set up for this purpose. And the ministerial candidates were chosen in a secret ballot. Did the selection process consider the ambitions to achieve a greater representation of women? Hakkaoui: No. We had taken the decision to run a completely democratic process. Voting did not take place along gender lines, but rather each person voted for the candidate he or she felt was best suited to the post. But the Prime Minister is a member of your party. Could you not have therefore stipulated a certain quota of women for the other parties, as was the case in the elections? Hakkaoui: Yes, of course. The General Secretary of our party, Abdelillah Benkirane, did indeed impose conditions on the other parties, for example that if someone has already served as a minister for longer than one term of office, they should not be nominated again. And younger personnel should be promoted if they have not been working in another function over a longer period. And of course, a balance should be achieved through the presence of women.

PC CREDIT: Bassima Hakkaoui, ministre de la Solidarité, de la femme, de la famille et du développement / Ph. DR.

But the problem lay in the concrete realization of these goals. Just a few days ago, female candidates who had already been proposed were dropped again. This applied in particular to two women whose nominations were rescinded for the reasons I stated, time pressure and the lack of political will. But I wouldn't say that the exclusion of women was intentional, because initially the parties put up several women. Isn't that unconstitutional then? After all, the constitution stipulates that men and women should be treated equally, an approach that forms the basis of the elections that have just been held and produced the current government? Hakkaoui: That may well be, although the constitution only states that the principle of equality is something that should be "aimed for", and we are working step by step to achieve this. I'd like to say, by way of proof that there is no contradiction here, that in the case of constitutional elections a nationwide list was only introduced to achieve a greater representation of women, not to promote the principle of equality. On the subject of the elections, relatively few women were able to make their mark on the process. Do you have any ideas on how to boost the numbers of women in parliament? Hakkaoui: Well firstly I'd like to praise the commitment of the women's rights movement, which instigated a concerted campaign to, on the one hand, influence the views of politicians, but also to create a climate in Morocco that is more open to women. But I think there's still a lack of transparency to this day. For example when efforts were being made to raise the proportion of women in parliament, the only solution put forward was the nationwide list, while the parties were not obliged to put up sufficient numbers of female candidates on a local level. Don't you think that the low political representation of women is not only due to the fact that politics is dominated by men, but also due to patriarchal social structures? Hakkaoui: Within the parties themselves it's mostly about power. And of course, men defend their constituencies against all competition at any price. Women are simply viewed as "intruders". In this respect I don't see any connection between politics and society, on the contrary: Society is demanding greater rights for women, while there are some men in positions of power who have a problem sharing this political power with women. Let's talk about what you're going to be doing in your ministerial role. What are going to be your key points of focus at the Ministry for Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development? Hakkaoui: With respect to women's affairs, the first thing we have to do is hammer out a clear vision if we are going to properly improve the situation and lives of women in Morocco and empower female elites to realise their intellectual, economic and also their political potential.

PC CREDIT: Crédit photo : Rachid Tniouni

This is the only way to create a democratic climate that will provide women with the possibility of assuming roles and tasks to which they are doubtless suited. This will also result in greater equilibrium between the different strata of Moroccan society. Your views on Morocco's publicly expressed reservations on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women have given rise to fears over how you will proceed in future on the question of women's rights. What is your party's stance on these reservations now? Hakkaoui: Firstly, the expression of reservations was controversial, because the context in which they were issued was "unclear". We've always called for the inclusion of parliament in steps of this kind, after all, parliament represents the people. The news that misgivings had actually been expressed reached us via foreign sources. We were surprised by this circumvention of parliament. For me personally, the problem lies in Article 9 of the Convention, because it could represent a curtailment of Morocco's sovereignty as a Muslim state with its system based on the principle of leadership of the faithful. And Article 16 contradicts Moroccan family law by giving men and women exactly the same rights and obligations in family matters. The Moroccan constitution sets down the inviolable basic principles of the Moroccan state. If an article of the Convention means that Morocco must submit to other laws, then this is an infringement of the principle of sovereignty. I would also only give credence to these fears if I were not myself a woman, a women's rights activist and leader of women's organizations, and if I were not myself committed to women's rights. These attempts to parade the Islamists as bugbears go too far. The critics should open their eyes to the reality. And how will you, as minister of an Islamic-orientated party, try and bridge the gap between the ideological foundations of your party and the demands of the women's movement for comprehensive reforms? Hakkaoui: We all share the Islamic foundations and characteristics, that is one of the basic principles of our society. After all, in Morocco we live in accordance with our laws and our constitution. Women's organizations are free to demand what they will – just as anyone in Morocco has the right to freely and openly express his views and call for whatever he likes. But in the end, the state must remain loyal to its constitutional and legal basic principles. What's your stance on the abortion issue in Morocco? Hakkaoui: As I've only recently assumed my post, I'm not yet in a position to take a stance on all issues. But the abortion question will certainly be one of my key focus areas. And in order to glean as clear a picture as possible of the situation, we will be consulting with specialists and affected women. There have been reports of a new law allowing abortion in some cases. Is there any truth in this? Hakkaoui: No, that's not correct, there is no new law on this yet. I can flatly deny that. But the question of abortion in Morocco will certainly be up for discussion when the time is right.

Questioned on the death of Tit Mellil, Hakkaoui relies on God and the Interior

The death of a twentieth resident of the “Dar El Khir” social center in Tit Mellil on July 3 alerted several parliamentarians in the House of Representatives. The latter questioned Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister of Solidarity, about the living conditions in this center. The minister redirected responsibility to the Interior Ministry. She also says “pray to God to help us bring help to this center”.

THEhe deputies of the House of Representatives are dealing with the dossier of the Social Center “ Dar El Khir ” of Tit Mellil. During Monday's weekly plenary session devoted to oral questions, the parliamentary groups of the Constitutional Assembly (formed by the RNI and the Constitutional Union) and of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), appealed to the Minister of Family, Bassima Hakkaoui , on the living conditions of the residents of the establishment. The latter had also been the subject of a recent investigation by TelQuel, as well as a new death that occurred on July 3 . “ Last week, a resident of the Tit Mellil Social Center was killed in inhumane circumstances. The deceased who suffered from diabetes was eaten away by worms, ” laments Khalid Chennaq, of the Constitutional Assembly. “ The deceased was being treated with bleach, despite the presence at the Center level of three doctors and two nurses. It is unacceptable ! ” , Added PAM deputy Fatima Taoussi . “ When you visit of the Tit Mellil Social Center in August 2018, instead of visiting the wings that veil the dark side of the Center, you have gone through the on-call services which are in good condition. Worse, you declared, at the end of this visit, that the situation of the center is clearly better than that of the university housing estates ”, added the elected representative to the address of Bassima Hakkaoui. Committed, but not responsible The minister began her speech by recalling that her “ commitment ” to social work preceded her entry into the government. “ When I was still a parliamentarian, I chaired the social sectors committee and, within this framework, I organized several inspection visits to observe first-hand what is happening at the level of these centers. I have also drawn up several reports that you can consult ”, underlined Bassima Hakkaoui, staring at the member of the PAM. She continues: “ Once I was a minister, I visited this center, but you cannot change everything. Now, I pray God to help us to bring help to this center, as far as possible ”. While standing up as a fervent defender of human rights, the Minister of Solidarity disclaims all responsibility for the problems faced by residents of the social center of Tit Mellil. She thus recalls that “ the Ministry of Solidarity is not the only one responsible for the 12 social centers that exist in Morocco (…) They are all under the supervision of the wali and the governor” . Bassima Hakkaoui then explains that “ the role of the Ministry of Solidarity is limited to the financial support of the said Centers through grants. Moreover in 2018, we devoted 5 million dirhams to the Social Center of Tit Mellil in order to improve the quality of the care of its residents ”. Responsible anyway In a report consulted by TelQuel , the National Human Rights Authority (INDH) designates the judge-commissioner in charge of the management of this establishment as “ responsible for several dysfunctions in the management of the center” . The document underlines, among other points, that “ the judge-commissioner lacks skills in communication and administrative, educational and social management. Ensuring that the center is in a catastrophic situation ”. This judge-commissioner was assigned on April 2, 2018 by the public prosecutor to manage the affairs of the Social Center of Tit Mellil, in response to the request of the Minister of Solidarity, Bassima Hakkaoui, acting under Law 14.05. This assignment followed malfunctions noted during a visit by the provincial commission for the control of social protection establishments, chaired by the governor of the prefecture of Médiouna. Contacted within the framework of our investigation, the Minister of Solidarity had specified that “ the reverse procedure will be initiated as soon as the file of the new association applying for the management of the Complex reaches us and satisfies the conditions provided for by law 14.05”. According to Hasna Hajib El Idrissi, member of the NHRI in charge of the case, “ the public prosecutor is also awaiting a decision from the Minister of Solidarity to be able to oust the judge-commissioner and put an end to his catastrophic management of the Social Center of Tit Mellil ”. Recontacted by us after the publication of the investigation, Bassima Hakkaoui did not respond to our requests. For Fatima Taoussi, member of the PAM, this blockage comes from the fact that they are “ simple beggars, people without homes, and therefore who do not vote. This is the reason why they are abandoned to their own fate

Outstanding Achievements

Rabat, Asharq Al-Awsat- Bassima Hakkaoui, Morocco’s Minister of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development and the only female minister in the government of Abdelilah Benkirane, believes that women did not enter the government for many reasons. One of these reasons, she said, is the hegemony of the male culture. Males form the majority in political parties in Morocco; they sacrifice women when the moment comes to select candidates to assume responsibility”. In an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Hakkaoui addressed fears that social liberties in Morocco are receding because the Islamic Justice and Development Party is leading the government. She said that her party seeks to consolidate the accomplishments that Morocco has made, adding that, “Any one that wishes to defend the sovereignty and reputation of his country and aspires to its stability and economic, political, and cultural development cannot but be righteous; no one should be frightened of him”. The following is the full text of the interview: [Asharq Al-Awsat] To begin with, how do you view the fact that there is only one female minister in this government, compared to previous governments? [Hakkaoui] This is a legitimate question since the current government operates within a new constitutional framework that calls for equality and fairness. No doubt, the fact that there is one woman minister in this government makes us all wonder. I think it is an occasion to explain where the confusion took place that led to this situation. No doubt, there are objective as well as internal reasons related to the circumstances under which the negotiations among the allied parties that form the government took place. This could have been the pressing time or the mismanagement of one side or another that sometimes leads to a disharmonious outcome in the eyes of the other side and even in the visions of all the sides. As for the internal reasons, I believe that the parties participating in the government coalition should have nominated qualified women just as they nominated men for the post of a minister or for any position of responsibility and decision-making. If these parties over the past years worked to train their members – men and women – to assume responsibility but now complain that they are unable to put forward women candidates as ministers, they should review their approach to be able to gain from their exerted efforts in this regard. If there are women leaders with high qualifications but were not nominated, this means that we did not succeed in combating the marginalization and exclusion of women; such a practice is the epitome of discrimination against women. Despite this situation that is criticized for the lack of a balanced representation of women in the government, there is also a political development thanks to the stipulations of the new constitution that gives broad powers to the prime minister from the party that comes first in the ballot boxes. The prime minister should select his team in coordination with the other allies. This does not represent any intervention by any side in the formation of the government outside the will of the allied parties. This is a fresh gain in Morocco’s record in entrenching democracy and educating and promoting political action. Compared with the past, there were seven women ministers in the former government and then this figure dropped to three following the cabinet reshuffle. Three of these did not have any political or clear party affiliation before they became ministers and only one of the remaining two was nominated by her party. I think that we need to ask ourselves the real questions. [Asharq Al-Awsat] What are these questions that we should raise? [Hakkaoui] We should ask why such a wrong is committed against women. The constitution acts as a framework so that we do not err democratically in the selection of the ministers. Therefore, we should present Morocco’s glowing face by putting forward highly qualified women that exist in all the Moroccan parties. This government could have made a balance by having women ministers in its formation. In this regard, I can say that the Justice and Development Party followed a democratic approach in selecting its ministers and gave this result that was acceptable to everyone and that no one contested. The approach was firm and gradual and with the broad participation of the party members by merging elected members from the National Assembly with elected members from the party’s general secretariat. How can we avoid such a situation in future stages? Does this depend only on the demands of the women’s movement? Should the women’s sectors of the political parties erupt strongly within the party circles? Is it not high time for the parties to give up their male-dominated mentality when it comes to the legitimate rights of women? We should provide answers to all these questions and other questions in the same vein that are commensurate with the general political context of the historic period through which we are passing. [Asharq Al-Awsat] So you believe that the three parties allied with the Justice and Development Party did not adopt a democratic approach in selecting their ministers and thus there were no other women ministers? [Hakkaoui] I did not mean that; there could have been nominations adopting the positive distinction approach. Qualified women could have been nominated the same way men are selected on the basis of confidence. However, for reasons related to the dominant male culture that gives priority to men in political bodies – because men are also the decision-makers inside these bodies – they thought only of men when it was time to nominate persons for decision-making positions. Thus women instead of men become the victims; this happens often. We are talking about what happens in the Moroccan political arena in general. As a member of the Justice and Development Party, I do not feel any unfairness because the men – and they are the majority in the party – nominated me to several sensitive positions of responsibility before I was selected minister. For instance, I was selected chairwoman of the social sectors committee in parliament, member of the chamber of deputies office in my capacity as secretary of the council, and member of the joint parliamentary committee between Morocco and the European Union. Therefore, I have no right to blame my party and the men in my party. On the contrary, I praise this approach and I salute their fairness toward me and their noble stands. [Asharq Al-Awsat] How do you work amid an all-male government team? [Hakkaoui] I can say with all honesty, candor, and transparency that I do not feel anything different than being a member of a team regardless of whether this team is made up of all men or all women or is a mixed team. I absolutely do not feel any difference. Therefore as a member of a government team with responsibility, I feel that we should all work and cooperate together. Each one of us should work well to ensure the success of this experiment. [Asharq Al-Awsat] How has your life changed since becoming a government official? [Hakkaoui] What has changed is the feeling of responsibility that has doubled and become heavier. When I was a parliament member, my responsibility was only in representing the people and being their deputy. In such a situation, you are independent in your words and moves and in expressing your stands. This helps you in doing your duty, especially if you are in the opposition. However, it is important once you change from this situation to another where you are holding a responsibility confined to specific government commitments. This is important because you are making decisions and contributing to the development of the situation. However, it is uncomfortable to be the target of tendentious people and political adversaries, those that do not want this political and government experiment to succeed, and those that have political agendas waiting for the chance to carry them out even if at the expense of principles and morals. [Asharq Al-Awsat] I sense a reference to the clamor that accompanied the suicide of Aminah Filali, the Moroccan minor who committed suicide after she was forced to marry her rapist. [Hakkaoui] I do not wish to go back to that controversy. A lot was said about me and a lot was attributed to me that I did not say or believe in, in the first place. They said that I back the idea of the rapist marrying his raped victim. This is not true; it does not even cross my mind. My past statements attest to what I say; I was harsher than anyone else against a rapist. That is why I am amazed at this campaign of rumors and distortions that have nothing to do with the political debate or with a fair and honest opposition. This campaign may be related to other things, but this is not important. The caravan should continue to move forward and the work has to be done. We should succeed in this experiment because it means Morocco’s success on which all the Moroccans pin their hopes. [Asharq Al-Awsat] One of the disturbing social issues in your ministry is about the so-called “children of the streets”. What is the government doing to end this phenomenon? [Hakkaoui] My specialization in social psychology made me concerned about a number of social phenomena. One of these issues is the children beggars, I mean children on the streets with no families, children outside schools, and children that are subject to exploitation in many different ways, including sexual exploitation. I had the chance to live close to them for six years in the “fortified” public shelters and in places where they could get free food and drink, such as the wholesale fruit and vegetable markets where they fend for themselves on the basis of “the end justifies the means” from here and there. Whenever a campaign was launched against this phenomenon, these children were put in some centers that are not qualified to receive them or even to keep them for a long time. That is why when one of the children would be absent from the street, his companions would think that he was undoubtedly in one of these centers and that they will eventually see him there. [Asharq Al-Awsat] That is he would return to his familiar grounds? [Hakkaoui] Yes, he would return but suffering from skin diseases and perhaps from psychological effects resulting from practices that do not respect the sanctity of his body and his innocence. I was strongly drawn to this subject due to humanitarian considerations as well as academic considerations. For me, the issue went beyond preparing and defending a dissertation; I became haunted by these painful phenomena. Moreover, I spent more than nine years in the social committees sector in parliament that made me familiar with the initiatives and actions that were taken in this regard in the past 10 years. I am now in a different position, a position of acting and making decisions based on my powers and my resources to save at least a few of those children on the streets. I recently initiated a program called “towns without children in the street”. This means that the town itself should cooperate to put a stop to its children on the streets. We should encourage the towns, quarters, and all the regions to cooperate on an institutional basis in order to take their children and elderly off the streets. To accomplish these goals, a number of measures should be taken. Centers for awareness should be established to inform about these children or elderly on the streets or to report about deviant practices from, these children or against them or cases of employment of minors in homes or factories. Such centers would help us learn about such cases and situations so w e could treat them. As part of our plan, we will organize days of solidarity throughout Morocco during which all the institutions concerned and all the organizations and activists in the field of child care or volunteers would gather and meet. It would also be a suitable opportunity to gather human and financial resources to rescue these children. A family that has abandoned its child or that the child abandoned it needs someone to play the role of reuniting the family and embracing this child again. A child outside the protection of a family will ultimately become a criminal or a deviant or a social outcast. That is why we should first look after the primary space of a child, which is the family for the sake of the child first. [Asharq Al-Awsat] But it is noted that the Moroccan family has gone through changes in the past decades; it no longer has the power or the educational influence that it used to have. [Hakkaoui] Correct, but social upbringing does not rely only on the role of the family. It is also related to other educational institutions, such as the schools. Schools are no longer the place where academic development let alone character development thrives. It is no longer a place to graduate future righteous citizens. In fact, the school milieu and sometimes the core of the educational institution becomes a breeding ground for drug trafficking and a place for sexual exploitation. We should coordinate the efforts among the ministry or education, the public security directorate, and the families. Even the ordinary citizen that lives near the schools and can see what is happening should inform because the school milieu is an extension of the school itself. In the past, books and other things related to education and schools used to be sold in the school milieu; but these days it is threatening the functions of the school. [Asharq Al-Awsat] Aren’t the children of dysfunctional families due to divorce make up a high rate among street children? [Hakkaoui] Not all the children of divorced families are necessarily part of this phenomenon. There may be a divorced woman who also has custody of her children and who is doubling her efforts so that her children would successfully finish their education. The same thing is also done by the divorced father who may also be involved in looking after the children and in paying alimony. Therefore, divorce should not be viewed on this basis. Family dysfunction can be the result of the absence of sound and strong family ties even if the two parents are not divorced. [Asharq Al-Awsat] Fears exist that social liberties in Morocco may recede under a government led by the Justice and Development Party. [Hakkaoui] These are mere illusions. The Justice and Development Party is a national political party that cares about its country and that respects the state, the homeland, and society. The Moroccan state enjoys centuries of firm and strong presence in the African and Mediterranean milieus. We are working to strengthen this position and this status. We are working in the government to ensure the success of the Moroccan experiment in entrenching the rules of democracy. I believe that any one that wishes to defend the sovereignty and reputation of his country and aspires to its stability and economic, political, and cultural development cannot but be righteous; no one should be frightened of him. The Justice and Development Party is carrying a big responsibility these days. By leading the government, it is trying to strengthen all the existing accomplishments. It wants to act as a quality supplement and to bring what is new to qualify Morocco to further progress and development. We in the Justice and Development Party may be the source of apprehensions for some people because we came raising the important slogan of “combating corruption and tyranny”. This is what is alarming them because the disease that has prevented Morocco from progressing the way we all want it to progress is corruption. Our government program – I mean the program of the Justice and Development Party with its allies in the government majority -shows that we are determined to proceed with it. These reform workshops should take part of our time, our efforts, and part of the budget from our sectors. [Asharq Al-Awsat] Is the issue of reforming the government media outlets or the reform tax one of the manifestations of these problems? [Hakkaoui] Perhaps. [Asharq Al-Awsat] Some people were angry when your ministry published the names of the civil societies that are benefiting from government support. Was the mistake made in publishing or not publishing? [Hakkaoui] Very simply, the constitution stipulates that the ordinary citizen has the right to information. As we were submitting the budget of this sector to parliament, a request was made to submit a list of these societies. We responded to the request of the deputies of the nation with full transparency and in implementation of the constitution. The publication of the list of subsidized societies means that we are implementing the constitution. It also means that we respect the citizens and we respond to them positively. We do not think that this publication indicts the societies benefiting from this support in any way because government subsidy is their right. We thought that transparency is very important. The publication of the lists of subsidized societies in the social domain – I mean the ministry, national cooperation, and the social development agency – gave everyone the chance to read and compare the figures and the names and to read between the lines. This is the kind of climate in which reform thrives and in which responsibilities are set to raise the standards of this sector.