Domestic violence is an issue that is rampant in our society, yet people prefer not to acknowledge its existence within their families or the neighbourhood. It is, perhaps, one of the worst manifestations of misogyny; women are beaten up, tortured, raped and in some cases, even murdered behind closed doors. Domestic violence, in fact, is so widespread that once in every five minutes an incident of domestic violence is reported in India, under its legal definition of “cruelty by husband or his relatives”. Dowry homicide, husband beating wife to death, marital-rapes, widow killed over property dispute – domestic violence transcends social classes, race, and age.
In an attempt to create awareness, a Bangladeshi ad titled ‘Hair, the pride of a woman’ talks about the conventional beauty of women, and the impact of domestic violence, which has been doing the rounds of social media.
In the advertisement, a woman with long and beautiful hair is seen asking her hairdresser to cut it short. The woman asks her hairdresser to cut it shorter. And shorter. Subsequently, the hairdresser gives her a bob cut and assumes her job is done. This is when the woman runs her hand and pulls her own hair, and with tears in her eyes, says “Make it shorter. So that no one can hold it like this again.”
“Hair, which has been a conventional symbol of beauty for women, has now become one of her weaknesses”, reads the ad in the end.
As 65 % of married women in Bangladesh suffer domestic violence, this ad was exclusively created to promote a domestic violence hotline called Jui. A hotline created to help women, where they can talk and report about their domestic plight.
While battered women have remained silent over generations, this advertisement is motivating women not just in Bangladesh but in India too to speak up.
The video has garnered over 6 million views on Facebook, with 1,900 comments, and 100,000 shares.
Watch the video with subtitles here: