In 2016, women participation in the labor force of Pakistan was just around 22% and one would think that with the evolving time the percentage would increase. However, during 2020-2021, the percentage actually dropped to somewhere around 20.5% as per the World Bank collection of development indicators. This decline is not because of the fact that women don’t want to work, instead it has to do with societal pressure that our society puts on women by passing comments like “batain banaye gee”, “log kya kahain gay” (What will people say?). The negative perception around women working in our country is so heavily embedded in our culture that it has now become a norm. If that societal pressure wasn’t enough, the unsafe work environment adds to the problem which leads to women having low participation rate in the work force.
With the issue being so enlarge, big brands like McDonald’s are now stepping in and trying to break the stereotype around women having a career. When such big names shed light on a sensitive topic, a conversation is bound to start among the masses. Apart from igniting a conversation, McDonald’s has highlighted how they are playing their part in making the workspace supportive and safe enough which in-turn will help convince families and motivate women to seek out a career. This is a critical step in the journey of empowering women. Providing safe and enabling work spaces that nurture their growth and provide equal opportunities, inclusive environment and strict anti-harassment policies is a welcoming initiative that will encourage more women to join the work force and reassure their families regarding their safety.
Overall the ad has a positive outlook featuring the journey of women during different eras, taking the leap of faith and actualizing their dreams. Different time settings were shown such as the opening shot was set in 1998, the second shot was set in 2005 and the final shot was set in 2021 which highlights how our society has been evolving with the changing time and similarly so should we.
It is quite evident that for a growing economy like Pakistan, it is extremely important for women to have more participation in the work force which will consequently help our economy to improve. Salute to McDonald’s for playing their part in improving our country’s economy by enabling more women in the workforce. With such support from brands like McDonald’s, we can hope that slowly and steadily the narrative around female workers in Pakistan will change and will allow our women to dream again for a prosperous career.
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