Malaysia Apologizes for Sexist Quarantine Suggestions for Women

The Malaysian government recently apologized for a misogynistic online campaign it issued encouraging women to help the current quarantine orders by wearing makeup, dressing up and avoiding nagging their husbands.

The country’s Women’s Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development was behind the campaign, having sent out a series of posters featuring animated images of a woman's face with multiple makeup brushes plastered on it and a woman neatly dressed at a computer, among others.

Women were also encouraged to refrain from being sarcastic when asking their husbands for help with chores. The campaign has received backlash and ridicule from women online.

Manager for the advocacy group All Women’s Action Society Nisha Sabanyagam told Reuters the campaign was extremely condescending to both women and men. “These posters promote the concept of gender inequality and perpetuate the concept of patriarchy.”

The campaign has since been suspended, with the department saying its intentions were to help maintain “positive relationships among family members during the period they are working from home.”

The Realist Woman’s take:

*Aggressive sigh* 

*Eye roll*

Attached to the posters were #WomenPreventCOVID19, basically telling women to help the quarantine by not nagging their husbands so they won’t leave the house. What’s crazy is this all came from the Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development. I would think a department like this has an interest in furthering women’s equal rights but this campaign proves it doesn’t. 

I didn’t see a campaign as to how men can be more helpful or attractive during this crisis. This is a clear example of gender inequality. Maybe Malaysia should focus on helping the nearly 3,000 people battling COVID-19 in their country, the most cases in Southeast Asia, instead of worrying about what women are wearing while quarantined at home. 

The Sexist Campaign is a Clear Example of Gender Inequality