06:36 GMT08 March 2021
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    A new ad by the UK's Conservative government meant to encourage people to stay at home while in the throes of a global pandemic prompted many to ask whether COVID-19 got all "men out there fighting a war or something".

    A COVID-19 “Stay at Home” poster published by the UK government has caused a row on social media. It has now been removed and its authors shamed by users online.

    The poster encouraged the public to “stay at home” and “save lives” during the time of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown measures in the UK. The poster also depicts four house bubbles and its inhabitants: a man and a woman relaxing on the sofa, a woman holding a child and doing ironing, a woman reading to two children and two women doing housework.

    The fact that none of the images showed men engaging in housework enraged users on Twitter, making them sarcastically ask:

    “Are the men out there fighting a war or something?”

    ​Though many agreed with Dr Pragya Agarwal and her criticism of the government over the choice of imagery on the poster, others didn’t give much thought to it.

    ​However, commentators angered by the poster have pointed out that it wasn’t the presence of women in most images that was wrong but the fact that “all the women in this ad are doing housewife roles.”

    ​Others also criticised the words of UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who said in the House of Commons on Tuesday:

    "We owe mums everywhere an enormous debt of thanks for juggling childcare responsibilities alongside other duties during the pandemic." 

    Sunak has been lamblasted before for suggesting that people in some professions, such as the arts, may need to “adjust to the new reality”, where some industries are heavily affected by the pandemic.

    UK has been in national lockdown since the beginning of 2021, with schools shut and parents having to juggle childcare and work. 

    On 27 January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that present lockdown measures will remain in place until at least 8 March and ruled out any imminent return to school for most pupils.

    women, men, poster, United Kingdom, COVID-19
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