June 23, 2021

Malaysia apologizes for controversial advice to women confined by COVID-19

The Malaysian government issued an apology after the reaction against a series of controversial recommendations directed at women during the period of confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which in this Asian country has caused 3 deaths and 2,766 infected.

The councils, published Monday by the Malaysian Ministry for Women and Family Development, were aimed at maintaining a positive relationship in the family and work environment, according to their authors.

Under the motto “Kebahagiaan Rumahtangga” (Harmony in the home), women were suggested behaviors to avoid arguments with their husbands such as laughing shyly or speaking in a sweet tone, similar to those of the popular manga character Doraemon, a robot cat.

“If your husband performs a (household) chore in a way you don’t like, avoid bothering him” or “count from 1 to 20 before arguing,” some tips on the list noted, which was deleted a day after its publication.

The contrary reactions expressed by many Malaysians on social networks, where they accused several of the government councils of sexists, caused the ministry to issue an apology last night.

· We apologize if there were certain councils that were inappropriate and offended the sensibilities of certain groups. We will be more careful in the future, indicates the statement published Tuesday night on social networks under the label # wanitacegahcovid19 (women to prevent COVID-19).


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