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Liberating or intrusive? RT hears opinions on US firm’s ‘women empowerment’ ad made for Pakistan

Liberating or intrusive? RT hears opinions on US firm’s ‘women empowerment’ ad made for Pakistan
A laundry detergent ad with a twist about female empowerment, made by a US company, has caused outrage among religious conservatives in Pakistan. RT debates whether this strategy does more harm than good for women.

The laundry detergent commercial, released by US consumer goods giant Proctor & Gamble, challenges traditional gender norms in Pakistan. The ad features women of various professions, including the captain of the women’s national cricket team, quoting what they’ve heard said to women: “Stay within the house, don’t stray from your four walls...” They then respond: “These are not simply sentences, they are stains. Will these stains stop us?”

The ad’s message has angered religious conservatives, and some have called for a boycott of the company.

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Radio and TV host Karyn Turk believes that Proctor & Gamble is being too intrusive, and its approach may backfire, creating more problems for local women and could even put them in danger. “This commercial may set back that agenda,” she said.

An American company shouldn’t insert themselves in Pakistani culture and put Pakistani women at risk. They’re putting Pakistani women at risk with their American liberal agenda, and that part is wrong. I don’t want to see women hurt and not have equal rights.

Reese Everson, attorney and women’s rights advocate, disagreed, saying the ad will have a positive effect, as it reflects what many in countries like Pakistan feel. The commercial is not an example of an “outside culture” forced onto the country’s women, but “gives them a platform to add and enhance their voice,” she said.

These women are already at risk. A lot of these women [want] to see change within their country. Their desire has been to have more rights to education, financial stability and empowerment.

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