The Malaysian government has come under fire for sharing posters advising women on how to keep their husbands happy during the coronavirus lockdown.
Entitled ‘Household Happiness’, the four images suggest women avoid nagging their partners to do chores, make sure they look well-groomed and keep their homes clean and tidy.
One picture even suggests imitating the voice of a manga character ‘followed by a cute laugh’ instead of moaning at a partner to help around the house.
All the posters were shared with the hashtag ‘Wanita Cegah Covid-19’, meaning ‘Women Prevent Covid-19’. They have now been widely mocked on social media.
One woman shared a video of herself applying scary clown make-up at home using the same hashtag, while another viral clip showed a man running to help hang the washing after hearing his wife use a high pitch voice.
Women’s rights groups have also blasted the posters, explaining that they exacerbate gender stereotypes and could encourage domestic violence.Coronavirus doctor, 30, gives family end of life wishes over fears virus will kill her
The Women’s Centre for Change (WCC), in Malaysia, told Sky News: ‘It implies that women are ultimately responsible for getting domestic chores done when the duty should be a shared one.
‘It makes women the ones who need to persuade their partners to chip in, and worse, asks that women downplay a rightful request by using infantile language and mannerisms – so as not to offend the apparent sensitivities of men.
‘The implicit message is that men are allowed to slack off on domestic work and it’s women who must follow up with them – but they should only do so nicely.’
The organisation concluded that the posters portray women as ‘subordinate in the home’, and unable to function ‘as equals to men’.
The Malaysian government has since apologised for the posters, three of which have now been removed on Facebook.
In a statement the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry said the pictures were intended to show ways in which couples could sustain a ‘positive relationship’ while working from home.
Director-general Datuk Saidatu Akhma Hassan said: ‘We are sorry if some of tips shared were inappropriate and touched on the sensitivities of some parties, and we will be more careful in the future.’