In Pakistan, critics are denouncing an international detergent brand for an advertisement that challenges gender stereotypes in the conservative country, AFP reports. The ad for Ariel soap, owned by U.S.-based Proctor & Gamble, calls for women to break free of repressive traditions and pursue careers.
In the ad, women representing different professions, including journalism and medicine, push dirty sheets out of view. The sheets are printed with sentences stating common refrains used to oppress women in Pakistan, AFP reports, including the judgmental question, “What will people say?”
The ad ends with the captain of Pakistan women’s cricket team saying, “Stay within the house … these are not only sentences, but stains.”
Conservatives blasted the ad on Twitter, using the hashtag #BoycottAriel.
— حسام الدین لکھوی (@hussamuddinpk) June 21, 2019
Some critics called for Pakistani regulators to have the ad censored.
— Ahmed 💙 (@imMhboob) June 22, 2019
Women in Pakistan live in a patriarchal society that involves pervasive violence against women, gender discrimination, and public harassment, with few women daring to walk outside their home alone.
Read more at Gulf News.