Misa Zimbabwe’s statement came amid reports that police had stopped commemorations of the day in Bulawayo and Gweru.
“A classical example of the objectification of women is Delta Beverages-Redds cider advertisement placed in The Standard weekly edition of 6-12 March 2011. The advert shows the posteriors of four women (they are definitely women evidenced by their physique and manicured fingers) clad in tight fitting jeans. They each holding a bottle of Redds smacked on their posteriors. The advert reads have a great fun,” said Misa-Zimbabwe.
“Misa-Zimbabwe urges Delta Beverages to drop the advert and apologise to readers and the generality of Zimbabwean women. Ironically, the advert in question is flighted in a supplement to commemorate International Women’s Day. Although Misa-Zimbabwe cites Delta Beverages Redds advert, this negative portrayal of women is not unique to Zimbabwe, but is prevalent throughout the global advertising industry,” Misa said.
“The images that appear in several adverts tend to portray women as physical objects that should simply be admired if not savoured. Such images negatively project women as having no other substantive attributes outside their physical and bodily make-up.”
“Misa-Zimbabwe condemns such portrayal of women in the media as reinforcing medieval stereotypes that objectify women. The Redds advert is denigrating as it equates women’s posteriors to objects of ‘great fun’ to be enjoyed with a Redds drink.”
“Misa-Zimbabwe also notes with great concern the violation of the right to privacy and human dignity in some of the stories carried by two Zimpapers tabloids H-metro and B-metro, especially where it concerns women who are by and large the subjects and sources of the stories.”
Meanwhile, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) said they are commemorating the International Women’s Day advocating for the country to stop political violence against women, a move that has been called by several human rights organisation.
“For the NCA, the commemorations are coming at a time when we have embarked on a campaign dubbed ‘Act Now against Political Violence targeting women.’ The campaign seeks to address the scourge of political violence as the country approaches yet another referendum by raising awareness, building support structures, name and shame perpetrators as well as capacitating women and communities at large to deal with the scourge at two levels: prevention and support for victims,” the NCA said.
Meanwhile police on Tuesday banned the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) organised International Women’s Day celebrations despite a High Court order allowing the commemorations to go ahead.
Khumbulani Ndlovu, a ZCTU information officer, said they obtained a High Court order to proceed with the commemorations in Bulawayo and the police were made aware of the ruling.