SHARE THE LOAD – Gender equality one step at a time.
There are many cases of brands running campaigns with a social cause that they don’t really imbibe or believe it. Many of them are to tick the CSR box. Then there are brands that find their mojo and run with the cause as a philosophy, a belief. There is a commitment and willingness to at least an attempt going long distance with it. Tata Tea ‘JaagoRe’ and Ariel ‘#ShareTheLoad’ are two such examples.
I love brand Ariel continuing with its ‘Share The Load’ initiative. It is a small but definitive positive contribution to remove the stains of Gender Inequality!
Domestic chores and the resultant workload is an accepted norm for women in many countries. The foundation of this stereotyping is laid from childhood and is reinforced at every stage of growing up. From the games girls are expected to play or not play, the colour they must prefer, the jobs that they should take up and the societal expectation from the bride. The behaviour of their parents, their roles and sharing of responsibilities reinforces it.
Unfortunately, women are an equal party to the crime and have been helping propagate the cause. At every stage, women are told they have a specific role. The acceptable definition of a good wife has all the ingredients of ‘Taking the load’. It does not matter if she works, how much she works or who has the time in the home.
Change takes time. You have to keep attacking it.
The 2015 Ariel film ‘Husband’ first raised the question. It had just one possible answer that most families refuse to acknowledge. The DAD film placed the issue in the spotlight, and the next film ‘SON’ continues to take it further.
The brand continues to explore the arena and direct our attention to possibilities. Maybe it made a difference in homes of millions of males who pledged to ‘Share The Load’. The question will remain valid for many more years to come. Nudging the audience is a valid approach.
WHY ‘SHARE THE LOAD’.
One can argue if the approach ‘Share The Load’ is bold enough. One can question if this is the definition of progressive thinking. Why not say ‘Do Your Part’ instead of ‘Share The Load’. The concept still pins the household chore as a women’s area of work. Is it not a case of built-in inequality?
THERE IS CHANGE.
It’s no denying that centuries of conditioning has made even the most progressive thinking and educated women accept laundry as their responsibility. Men believe it is not something they are expected to do.
There is a change in attitude. My discussion with many young ladies suggests that in spite of them expecting their mother to do the laundry, the new generation girls see their future husband contributing in household chores. And they are willing to bridge the gap of inequality by sharing the husband’s workload and responsibilities. The next film may address the daughter of the house to make the point.
The Ariel film has surely been contributing to this mind change. It reinforces the belief that its ‘Acts not Ads’ that can nudge the society towards a positive change.
Here are the other two films of the campaign.
And here is the case film explaining the cause and the initiative.