Advertisement is a mass influencer when it comes to empowering women. Lately, Pakistan is in the news with profuse rage against an advertisement broadcasted by ‘Ariel’ a detergent brand from the United States based Proctor and Gamble. The company for the first time faces a backlash in the country over its stance on women’s rights.
The advertisement displaying women from different works of the field breaking free the norm of enslavement as a matter of empowering for women was slammed by the Pakistanis saying that it’s offence to their teaching, religions and most important- Islam. The women in the lead include a Journalist, a Doctor who is seen removing stains from dirty sheets hanging on clothesline off the screen. Here, the sheets represent the oppression that all Pakistani women faces on a daily basis including the question- “What will people say?”.
The commercial ends with a close- up shot of a Pakistani women’s cricket team captain Bismah Maroof saying: “Stay within the house…these are not only sentences but stains”. Much Pakistani patriarchy took to offense on Twitter with hashtags “#BoycottAriel” on Twitter. One of them Binte Suleman tweeted “ They (are) insulting Islamic teaching in their advertising,” whereas another Raja Moazzam added: “Please take action against these liberals, who (are) promoting liberalism in Pakistan.”
Women in Pakistan have been fighting for justice and equality since time immemorial. A nation who killed a popular internet sensation like Qandeel Baloch in the name of honor killing considers their actions upright. Change is here and now but is completely denied to the women of this country.