Mumbai, February, 2022.
Over the last 7 years, Ariel India has continuously sparked conversations around the unequal division of domestic chores within households and urging more and more men to #ShareTheLoad. In the spirit of keeping this conversation going and furthering the cause of equality within households, Ariel launched the #SeeEqual film, to inaugurate the 5th edition of ShareTheLoad. By raising a pertinent question – “if men can share the load equally with other men, why are they not doing it with their wives?”, Ariel is urging men to be equal partners playing Equal roles. Because when we see equal, we #ShareTheLoad.
During the lockdown, everyone got confined to their homes which transformed into offices, schools, playgrounds overnight. So many men took to household chores actively and proudly- be it cleaning, cooking or laundry. Andwhile this trend faded as the pandemic eased out, it established that men are open to change and can take up chores when needed. Additionally, a new study by an independent third party revealeda startling fact – 73%* men agreed that they did their share of household chores when they were staying with other men or roommates.So, if men have taken responsibility of chores in the past, what stops them from doing this as partners?
Ariel’s new film- See Equal raises this pertinent question to men. The reason for this disparity could be many but it was alarming to find that 80% women believe their partners know how to do household tasks but choose not to do them. The same men, who chose to take up household chores when living with other men, are not doing their share of work in the house with their wives. This ‘choice’ signaled a mindset issue arising from years of unconscious bias, and 83% women felt that men don’t see women as equal when it comes to housework. By raising a pertinent question – “if men can share the load equally with other men, why are they not doing it with their wives?”, Ariel is reminding families, that true equality is only reflected when domestic chores are shared. Because when we SEE EQUAL, we SHARE THE LOAD!
The film is about a woman, who visits the neighbours with her husband. Looking at the two men go about their morning tasks in complete harmony and both contributing equally, she points this out to her husband. The man casually recollects how he used to split all chores back in the day with his college roommate. This incident, along with a few more, make the woman realise that she is not being seen and treated as an equal. After mulling over it, she takes a stand for herself and shares her realisation with her husband, demanding to be seen as an equal. This conversation makes the husband realise, who vouches to drop his bias and ShareTheLoad.
The film is fully reflective of the reality of today’s times. On one hand, the woman refuses to accept inequality in her marriage, and on the other, it depicts what men are capable of and how it is that they are changing. The neighbours in the film could be roommates, friends, brothers or in a relationship themselves, but irrespective of their relationship, they represent the men of today who are open to change. While there are many men who have started to do more, a lot of them even take up their full share of responsibilities within the home and ShareTheLoad equally. This is possible only when they See Equal.
Today, an exciting panel came together to launch this film and the 5th edition of #ShareTheLoad, comprising of Genelia and Ritesh Deshmukh – Actors, Producers, Entrepreneurs, Environmentalists, Dr. Nandita Shah from Akshara Centre – an NGO whose vision to establish a gender just and violence free society, and works tirelessly towards it, Sharat Verma – Chief Marketing Officer, P&G India, and Vice President, Fabric Care, P&G India, Josy Paul – Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, BBDO India. The panel was moderated by Shibani Dandekar. In a never-seen-before act, celebrity guest Genelia D’Souza went invisible at the launch of Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad movement to drive a strong message- “If women are not being seen as equals by their partners, they are almost invisible in the relationship”. Genelia and Riteish, who embody an equal relationship, came forward to talk about the importance of equality within the household at the event
The vivacious Genelia said, “Not sharing the load, not seeing me as equal, would be a deal breaker. We Share the Load no matter what – be it with kitchen chores, parenting or laundry. There is nothing like his job or my job. It’s a world we have built, and we are in it together forever. I believe if you really love your spouse and see her as an equal, there is no reason why you won’t divide the chores or any tasks equally. I am so glad to see a brand like Ariel continuing to push for domestic equality and unearth such compelling insights that are sure to create conversations and action”
Supporting the #ShareTheLoad movement, actor Riteish Deshmukh said, “Ariel’s #SeeEqual film is an eye opener for most men including me. While I have always tried to be Genelia’s best friend and her constant support, we men do at times tend to overlook piled-up laundry or a sink full of dirty utensils. This film is a reminder to be more conscious and aware, and deliberately try to overcome our conditioned mindsets. Share The Load should be a norm not an exception. Since change begins at home, I urge all everyone to treat their partners with equality and respect and most importantly See them as EQUAL. Because only when weSee Equal, weShareTheLoad equally.”
“With Ariel #ShareTheLoad, we strive to trigger meaningful conversations that will help drive positive change. With #See Equal, we want to address years of unconscious bias and conditioning, which may be coming in the way of us all sharing the load. A recent World Economic Forum report claims that at the current pace of change, gender parity is still 135 years away! That is far too long for us to wait for something that comes naturally for men when they interact with each other. Interestingly, over 73% married men agreed that they did their share of household chores when they lived with other men. However, even now in urban India, less that 25 percent of households claim that men share the load equally. This year’s communication is based on this simple insight – when men can ShareTheLoad equally with other men, then why not with their wives? Because we know when we #SeeEqual, we #ShareTheLoad”said Sharat Verma, Chief Marketing Officer, P&G India, and Vice President, Fabric Care, P&G India.
“We’ve taken a slightly different track in the latest film for Ariel #ShareTheLoad. There is a definite shift in the tonality. This time, it’s the woman who speaks for herself. It is the woman speaking her mind and sharing her point of view. The film is fully reflective of the reality of today’s times, where the woman refuses to accept inequality in her marriage. Research confirmed this. 88% women believe it is time to talk to men about doing their share of the household work equally. There is a sense of restlessness, an impatience in the women today at the pace of change. So, this film is also a means to encourage conversations so as to truly move us towards an equal tomorrow.” said Josy Paul, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, BBDO India.
Nandita Shah, Co- Director, Akshara Centre spoke about the need for social change and said, “Gender inequality at home is underrated and often overlooked with women bearing the brunt of this inequality. When women believe that they are equal to men and start taking a position for it like in the Ariel #SeeEqual film, change happens. This change in behavior goes a long way in making the home more equal. If men understand how to do household chores, there should be nothing stopping them from sharing this equally and responsibly. We are happy to collaborate with Ariel to drive the conversation around gender equality in the division of household chores, andurge men to #See Equal and #ShareTheLoad.”
At the event, Ariel also launched its special edition Ariel Matic Powder pack, which carries an illusion on its back panel. This illusion is a representation of the society, meant to be a self-assessment if we see equal or not. If we only see a woman doing laundry, chances are that we still carry biases. Upon close inspection, the illusion also reveals a man sharing the load.
For the first edition of the #ShareTheLoad campaign in 2015, Ariel raised a very relevant question – ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job?’. With the 2016 ‘Dads Share The Load’ movement, the conversation was aimed at highlighting the prejudices that pass down from one generation to the next. In 2019, with ‘Sons ShareTheLoad’, the brand urged sons to #ShareTheLoad at home with the core question – Are we teaching our sons what we are teaching our daughters? Share The Load for Equal Sleep in the year 2020 was all about impact and action. It highlighted the impact of the unequal division of chores on their wife’s well-being and leveraged it with men to drive an urgency to act. The latest film Ariel #ShareTheLoad See Equal is about seeing the spouse equally because when you See Equal, You Share Equal.