Gender inequality cartoon goes viral

Gender inequality cartoon goes viral

Anand Mahindra retweets cartoon with a heartfelt note, wins praise

Recently, the chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra, shared a cartoon by a Spanish illustrator on Twitter about the challenges faced by working women, along with a heartfelt post.
It went viral with netizens applauding the leading industrialist’s step to highlight a sensitive topic. 
The comments section saw people talking about gender equality and acknowledging the hard work a woman puts in to advance in her career.

However, artist and filmmaker Adithyaa Sadashiv feels that the cartoon was too one-sided. “Men too face many challenges at the workplace. If the illustrator intended to talk about equality, the elements should have been balanced. Also, the number of men who stay at home while their wives go to work is also growing.”

Talking about how not all women see household chores as a burden, he adds, “ We shouldn’t generalise a situation. There are many middle-aged women who are happy being at home. It is a choice they made.” He feels that the reason the tweet went viral was because a man, a powerful one, was doing it. 

Harish Bijoor, brand expert, agrees with the fact that the tweet vent viral because it was an important man talking about women issues and it reflected reality.

He says, “Not much has changed even after all this time. A woman definitely does more work than a man; since her work at home starts after the end of a long day at work. The picture has captured this; it is amazing to see how one image can say so much.”

Saswati Chakravarty, founder of Bhasha News Media Pvt Ltd, believes that while discussions help, a change in thinking, including how women think, is the need of the hour. She feels that “ for a man to declare that he supports women in itself is so patronising.”

“Cartoons or tweets like these only reinforce a story that society has constructed,” she says, adding, “Equality is a choice that we have to make as women. It should not be given to us by someone else.”

What does the cartoon say?

Formally dressed men and women (to give the idea that they are working professionals) are seen on the starting point of a race track. While the tracks in front of the men are clear, the women face hurdles such like a clothes line, washing machine, ironing table, laundry basket and oven; implying the household chores they need to finish, while being part of the rat race.