No. 10 pulls “sexist” Covid ad showing all tasks done by women | News from the UK
The government was berated for overt sexism after posting a social media advertisement in which women, but not men, did housework – including home schooling.
On Thursday, the government tried to distance itself from official social media advertisements urging people to “stay home. Save lives”.
The poster (above) showed women cleaning and ironing as well as taking home lessons. Meanwhile, the lonely man was shown lounging on a sofa.
The image was withdrawn, but only after it went viral and attracted criticism and horror from critics.
The government said the ad “does not reflect their view of women”. Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, Chair of Parliament’s Special Committee on Women and Equality, tweeted the picture and commented, “Somebody signed this.”
That the picture was released indicates a government with a blind spot on gender equality, said Mandu Reid, chair of the Women’s Equality Party.
“That kind of typing gets my blood boiling – the people who made this are dinosaurs,” she said.
“It is further evidence of the crisis of imagination and competence in the heart of government that has already resulted in women being expected to work, teach and care for children without any support.”
She added, “The government needs home schooling about the impossible realities of Covid upbringing, otherwise it will be more than their artwork stuck in the 1950s.”
The dispute comes at a time when twice as many mothers as fathers say they are being forced to take unpaid leave due to school closings or a sick child, raising further fears that the economic fallout from the pandemic will fall disproportionately on women .
A May report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the UCL Institute of Education found that mothers in England were more likely than fathers to lose their jobs during the lockdown and only do one hour of continuous paid work for every three hours men did.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “We have been providing information to the public throughout the pandemic … [the ad] does not reflect our opinion on women and we have removed them. “
Parent blogger Anna Whitehouse said, “Showing a man loitering while women (and girls) ‘do it all’ may be some truth, but it can’t be the blueprint from above. How did it come about that it was signed in 2021? “
Labor’s Yvette Cooper tweeted, “A message from the government to the nation’s women and girls !! In 2021. As it turns out, 1950s sexism is also spreading rapidly. “
Felicia Willow of the Fawcett Society asked why it took public backlash to suggest that these images are unacceptable.
“With women at home and at work bearing the brunt of the effects of the pandemic, the government urgently needs to prioritize their interests and not peddle tired and unhelpful stereotypes,” she said.