Malaysia, Malaysia, Malaysia...what are we going to do with you?
Like we are, Malaysia is dealing with a stay-at-home order, in order to help stem the spread of Covid-19. The country currently has the largest number (2,900+) of Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia.
Knowing that families are stuck together for long periods together at home, they're trying to help ease some pressure with a series of public relations campaigns.
Malaysia's Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development recently took to social media with their campaign, releasing a series of posters giving women some advice on how to keep the peace with their husbands during the lockdown.
Well, the campaign did NOT go over well.
Using the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the posters advised women:
- DON'T 'nag' your husband
- DON'T be 'sarcastic'
- DO wear makeup
- DO dress up and avoid 'home clothes'
As you an imagine, the ads didn't get a great reception and the backlash was swift.
Nisha Sabanayagam, a manager at the advocacy group All Women's Action Society told Reuters:
"It is extremely condescending both to women and men. These posters promote the concept of gender inequality and perpetuate the concept of patriarchy."
Organizations that work to raise awareness about domestic violence were especially upset saying the ministry could have used this opportunity to help spread the word about the dangers of domestic violence and give women information about how to get help if they're in that situation, especially while they're under the lockdown.
Well, the ministry was shamed sufficiently. Earlier this week they gave up the campaign and released a statement saying that while the intention of the campaign was to help "maintain positive relationships among family members during the period they are working from home," they understand the campaign could be seen as offensive, and they promised to rethink future campaigns.
And another effort by the ministry to help families during this time also seems to have backfired. When the country initially gave its stay-at-home order, they specificed that only the 'head of the household' should leave when it was time to purchase groceries and other items families needed.
Well, apparently, all the men thought this referred to them, and they ventured out to the stores to do their duty.
What happened next was pretty hilarious. Social media filled up with posts, photos and videos of confused men in stores, trying to figure out shopping lists or navigating the stores while calling their wives for help.
Seeing this problem, one very smart employee of Malaysia's supermarket chain Tesco had an idea...and decided to come up with a handy 'how-to' guide for the men out and about running these errands.
Apparently, it's working!