The Philippines leads Asia when it comes to closing the gender gap, according to the latest Global Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum.
Filipinas already outnumber men in senior and leadership roles at work, as well as in professional and technical professions. More women are enrolled in higher education compared to men. Women even have better health, expecting to live five years longer than the average man.
Yet despite all these advances, there exists a serious threat to women’s progress. But unlike economic indicators, it’s hardly visible, let alone measurable.
The threat, called gender microaggression, refers to small, seemingly harmless comments that slowly add up over time and affect a person’s sense of self and identity. They are so commonplace that people perpetuate them without even noticing. But their effect on women can be huge.
Gender microagressions range from sexist jokes to outright displays of misogyny. It occurs in humor tropes (“Mainit ulo? Baka nireregla”), sexual objectification (“Ay, walang boobs?”), assumptions of inferiority (“Parang babae mag-drive!”), restrictive gender roles (“Paano ka magkaka-asawa niyan?”), and other forms of dismissive speech.
They come in many subtle forms, all stemming from the same problematic point—that women are expected to conform to a standard that is different from that of men.
It’s the focus in the latest video by Avon Philippines, which reminds us of just how nasty these common quips can be:
Avon’s #LetHerBe Video.
“The burden has always been on the woman to ignore the status quo and just mind her own business,” says Anna Garces, Marketing Director for Avon Philippines “By insisting that we #LetHerBe, we shine the light on the aggressor and question the culture that has enabled gender microagression for so long.”
#LetHerBe is the latest in Avon’s long history of standing up for women. The company started 135 years ago as an earning opportunity for women, and has since grown to provide financial security for millions of independent reps across the world. Avon is also one of the busiest activist brands for women, supporting advocacies around causes such as breast cancer and domestic violence.
At its core, Avon believes in using the power of beauty to transform lives. The global beauty brand continues to make high quality products, all designed to give women the freedom to live as they feel without having to mind the little worries that hold them back. These include products like Avon Feelin’ Fresh Quelch Deo Cream, which protects against odor and wetness that restrict movement; and Avon Intimate Apparel, which comes in all sizes to give every woman the comfort and support to rock every outfit.
“Avon will continue to stand up for women, whether it’s through beauty, business, or our bold stance on advocacy,” adds Garces. “But before we make progress, the first step is always to #LetHerBe.”