CHR urges firms to be sensitive to women in promos
MANILA, Philippines–The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has urged companies exercising their corporate responsibility to be more circumspect, especially when it came to the rights of women in promoting their products and services.
The CHR, in a 10-page advisory issued on Oct. 24, called on businesses “not only to respect human rights but to make that claim with legitimacy.”
The CHR sounded the call two months after a clothing company’s fashion show depicted a woman on a leash and a mall chain sold T-shirts with a slogan on its front downplaying rape.
“It has to be understood that respecting human rights is not a passive responsibility, it requires action on the part of the business,” the advisory on women’s human rights said.
In September, a fashion show by clothing brand Bench caused a stir when actor Coco Martin strode on stage leading a scantily clad woman by a leash around her neck.
Later, mall chain SM came under fire for selling a T-shirt with the slogan, “It’s not rape, it’s a snuggle with a struggle.” The SM department store has since pulled the T-shirt off its shelves.
In response to the incident, the CHR issued the 10-page advisory that was signed by Chair Loretta Rosales and Commissioners Ma. Victoria Cardona, Norberto de la Cruz and Jose Manuel Mamauag.
“The violations made a significant dent on women’s rights,” the agency said, noting that the government must not sit idly by but should pursue the entities responsible.
The advisory pointed out that the two incidents stressed the need for a business to show “that it is indeed respecting human rights in practice” by preventing or mitigating adverse human rights in its operations, products or service.