Women’s groups and other officials branded an ad campaign against violence towards women allegedly supported by state authorities, ‘sexist’ on Thursday, as ministries condemned the use of their names on the campaign.
The campaign, run by the company Galastyle, features posters and videos of men calling on others to ‘Act Manly’ and stop violence towards women.
In their initial announcement for the campaign, the company said the poster would be put up in military camps, hospitals and health centres, as well as athletic centres, post offices and the GSP stadium.
The company listed the ministry of defence, the health ministry, the transport ministry, Cyprus Post, Cyprus Sports Organisation, and the GSP Stadium as supporters of the campaign.
But on Thursday head of equality issues at the foreign ministry, Josie Christodoulou told Active Radio: “This specific campaign, unfortunately, seems to be reproducing stereotypes instead of breaking them down.”
Commissioner on Equality issues Josephina Antoniou said the campaign was a take on an American ad that pushed the message: ‘Real men don’t buy a girl’. Antoniou called the local campaign “extremely sexist.”
Two of the ministries listed as supporters of the campaign distanced themselves from it saying they were unaware of the exact content of the campaign.
“The ministry of health was not aware of the exact content in these campaigns,” the health ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that it has ordered that the posters, which were agreed on as part of the campaign deal, not be put up in hospitals.
Earlier, the ministry of transport also condemned any involvement in the campaign and said that it has sent a letter to the company to remove its name from the campaign.
In a statement, Galastyle said: “The phrase is deeply rooted within our society and identified with the ‘correct’ behaviour a man should have. So, it is a phrase that identifies any man. Therefore, it concerns him.”
The company added that they wanted to address all the people, who think a man is the ‘supreme power’ to convey manhood means respect and not a demonstration of power over ‘the weaker sex’.