Left Menu
Development News Edition

Malaysia calls on women to 'stop nagging, use makeup' in coronavirus advice

Reuters | Updated: 31-03-2020 13:22 IST | Created: 31-03-2020 13:22 IST
Malaysia calls on women to 'stop nagging, use makeup' in coronavirus advice

By Beh Lih Yi KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - C oronavirus lockdown advice issued by Malaysia that urges women to dress up at home and avoid nagging their husbands sparked a sexism row on Tuesday, with critics saying it promotes gender stereotypes.

In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, Malaysia's women's affairs ministry issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted a man sitting on a sofa, and asked women to refrain from being "sarcastic" if they need help with household chores.

Avoid nagging your husband, another poster said, attempting to inject humour by using a voice similar to the anime character Doraemon - a blue robot cat popular across Asia. The ministry also urged women to dress up and wear their makeup while working from home.

"(It) is extremely condescending both to women and men," said Nisha Sabanayagam, a manager at All Women's Action Society, a Malaysian advocacy group. "These posters promote the concept of gender inequality and perpetuate the concept of patriarchy," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

The posters, uploaded on Facebook and Instragram, drew widespread ridicule online with social media users urging the government to remove them. "How did we go from preventing baby dumping, fighting domestic violence to some sad variant of the Obedient Wives Club?" Twitter user @yinshaoloong wrote.

"No tips on how to deal with domestic violence?" asked another user @honeyean. The ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Women's groups have warned lockdowns could see a rise in domestic violence, with women trapped with their abusers. Some governments have stepped up response, including in France which offers hotel rooms to victims. Malaysia is ranked 104 out of 153 countries in the latest World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap index, after scoring poorly on political empowerment and economic participation.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Tracking Cybersecurity: Laying the groundwork for tougher regulations post-COVID 19

The changes indicate that the tech industry is moving towards a paradigm shift over how it operates and, more importantly, how it is regulated....

Tax dodging in rich and poor countries alike, wealthy taxpayers often outwit the taxman

... ...

COVID-19 threatens to widen the digital gender divide

In a world that, all of sudden, has turned virtual, it has become absolutely essential to providing equal digital access and opportunities to the unconnected population, primarily dominated by women. ...

Gender Equality Post-COVID-19: Rising inequalities ask for gender-sensitive policies

However, the death rate of women due to COVID 19 infection is less than men, the repercussions of worldwide lockdown have adversely affected women across communities and economic sectors throughout the globe. The experts fear that the pande...

Videos

Latest News

Govt only manufacturing jumlas and slogans: Cong

The Congress on Friday said the BJP government was only manufacturing slogans and dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modis vocal for local call and the economic stimulus package to make India self-reliant yet another jumla to divert peoples att...

Jain, Palshikar handed coaching roles with Baroda women's team

Former India players Anju Jain and Devika Palshikar were on Friday named in the support staff of the Baroda womens cricket team. While Jain would be the batting and wicket-keeping coach, Palshikar will be the bowling and fielding coach.The ...

Eastern Ladakh standoff: India, China to hold Lt General-level talks on Saturday

Indian and Chinese armies will hold a Lieutenant General-level dialogue on Saturday in their first major attempt to resolve the month-long bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh, a day after the two countries vowed not to allow difference...

Govt notifies 2 ordinances to kick in agri reforms, help farmers trade freely

The government on Friday notified two key ordinances to kick in agriculture reforms and help farmers trade freely and fetch better prices. The President of India has promulgated the following Ordinances with the aim of giving a boost to rur...

Give Feedback