KARACHI: A major chunk of women in Pakistan suffer from domestic abuse. The act of violence can include physical, mental or emotional abuse. As the world shut down due to COVID-19 last year and families were stuck at home, Pakistan saw a rise in domestic violence cases during lockdown. While domestic violence often goes unreported or unacknowledged, specially in the rural areas of Pakistan, Lifebuoy Shampoo, with its recent campaign, has made an attempt towards encouraging women to report the crime. Their latest ad, ‘Tum Mazboot Ho’, narrates the story of a mother and daughter as the latter witnesses the former being beaten up by her husband.
The beauty of the ad lies in its simplicity. Shot around everyday routines of a middle class family, ‘Tum Mazboot Ho’ shows a little girl who wishes to become a doctor so she can provide medical aid to her mother covered in bruises. She wants to become a teacher so she can educate her father and put an end to his behaviour. The same girl aspires to be a pilot so she can fly her mother away from the abusive environment.
In addition, the recent ad by Lifebuoy Shampoo hints at another issue: that of girls’ education. Our system continues to deprive girls of their basic rights including education. Teaching might be one of the professions open for girls but being a pilot is considered almost impossible for girls. According to a 2018 study by Human Rights Watch, 32% of girls in Pakistan miss out on education entirely. Factors like poverty and child marriages contribute further towards girls being pulled out of school.
View this post on Instagram
This brings us to the final message of the ad: to be strong women and raise daughters who recognise and report abuse in any form. To be able to raise our voice against crimes and instead of teaching our daughters to be quiet, stand with them and hear what they have to say. Invest in girls’ education instead of their dowry, plan a future which empowers them instead of a future which keeps them confined in their homes, voiceless.
*To report domestic violence cases, call 1099