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Malaysian Govt Asks Women To Wear Makeup During Lockdown To Appease Husbands

The Malaysian government is facing severe criticism for sharing ‘sexist’ and ‘misogynistic’ advisories aimed at telling women how they could ‘stay productive’ and keep the ‘peace’ at home during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

According to a news report published in UK’s digital news outlet The Independent, Malaysian Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) posted a series of infographics on its social media pages on Monday, advising women how to behave in their homes during lockdown.

One of the posters for mothers working from home advised them to ‘groom as usual’. The ministry also referred to the lockdown as a holiday, saying “Such a long holiday and need to work from home is something difficult for mothers because oftentimes they lose focus on things.” In another post that was removed later advised women not to ‘nag’ their partners who do household chores wrong.

“If you see your partner doing something wrong, avoid nagging – use humorous words like saying: This is how you hang clothes my dear’ (imitate Doraemon’s voice and follow up with giggles!),” suggested the ministry.

Women’s rights activists have lambasted the ministry, the Malaysian Women Minister Rina Harun said that the posters made it women’s responsibility to keep the peace at home.

The All Women’s Action Society also criticised the advisories and said, “Women have more than enough to do during the MCO without the added pressure of putting on make-up and looking good. Women are human too – not an object or a commodity. Stop this sexist messaging and focus on domestic violence survivors who are at higher risk now!”

The Malaysian government enforced Movement Control Order (MCO) on 18 March as part of the government’s response to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country. The Southeast Asian country has reported 2,767 Covid-19 cases and 43 deaths to date.

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