(Please try not to read this in your Doraemon voice).
Yesterday, The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) received immense social media backlash after posting what seemed to be a PSA for women who are currently observing the Movement Control Order (MCO)
In a series of online posters shared cross the Ministry’s social media pages (that has since been deleted), KPWKM advised women across the country with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, on how best to avoid domestic conflicts while quarantined with their spouses at home.
In one poster depicting a man and woman hanging clothes on a railing, women were urged to avoid nagging at their spouses but to instead inject humour into their daily conversations by giggling and imitating the popular Asian cat robot, Doraemon….
Women were also told to avoid using “sarcasm” when asking for their husbands to help with house chores.
The ministry also advised women to wear makeup while working at home to look presentable at all times
The controversial postings caused immediate outrage from netizens who did not appreciate what they say are sexist undertones and outdated advice given by KPMKM.
Some even got a little creative in their comments.
Even brands, companies and organizations, especially those fighting the rights of women, had a thing or two to say.
KPWKM yesterday (31 March) issued a statement of apology for its poor taste in advice.
“We are aware of the response of many parties to some tips for women being promoted during the Movement Control Order period through posters that have been posted on our social media pages,” the statement reads.
The ministry clarified that its initial intention was to share daily tips and positive messages on social media with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, which covers a variety of themes aiming at maintaining positive relationships within the family and while working at home.
“We apologize if some of the tips shared were inappropriate and seen as insensitive to certain groups. We will be more cautious in the future.”
We are glad that the ministry took the time to reflect on the implication of its action. Let’s hope our partners won’t ever ask us to imitate a cartoon robot!
By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya