Singapore Retailer Panned for Trivializing Women's Day

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday (08/08) that he expects the city-state's trade-reliant economy to grow around 2.5 percent in 2017. (Reuters Photo/Edgar Su)

By : Beh Lih Yi | on 6:26 PM March 09, 2017
Category : International, SE Asia

Jakarta. A popular Singapore retailer came under fire on Thursday (09/03) for "trivializing" International Women's Day by cooking up a promotion offering marked down frying pans.

Upscale department store chain TANGS marked the day, which falls on March 8 and is observed across the globe by women pushing for greater equality, by discounting a range of items, including two frying pans.

Other deals included beauty products, high heels and shavers.

The retailer sent out a promotional email to customers with the S$38 ($27) frying pan offers listed at the top, according to Marketing magazine. The deals were still listed on TANGS website on Thursday.

Campaigner Jolene Tan said the promotion appeared to overlook the struggle of women in the city-state, who are pushing for better representation in company boardrooms and battling laws which critics say allow marital rape.

"International Women's Day is a day to honor the struggles of women for equality, safety and respect," Tan said, head of advocacy and research at Singapore's Association of Women for Action and Research.

"Sadly, too many retailers present it as a consumerist event to be trivialized through sales and discounts rather than attention to the serious issue of gender equality."

An executive at the corporate communications department said she could not comment.

Singapore is ranked 55 out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap 2016, an annual report by the World Economic Forum which measures how women fare in areas such as economic and political participation, health and education.

Only 8 percent of women in Singapore are board directors and they are paid 43 percent less than their male counterparts, according to Tan citing previous research.

TANGS is most recognizable for its flagship store at the swanky shopping district of Orchard in downtown Singapore. It also has outlets in neighboring Malaysia.


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