March 2022, by Sophie Cousins. From The Lancet.

The website promises to celebrate women, provide guidance and resources to support International Women’s Day (IWD) events, and provides a means to donate to female-focused characters.

Although it is unclear who runs the website, there are several partners supporting it, such as DHL, Nottingham Trent University, medial technology and pharmaceutical companies.

Additionally, one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers as well as the world’s largest producer of alcohol, are supporting the website.

Carol Emslie, at Glasgow Caledonian University (Glasgow, UK), has studied how alcohol companies are using IWD to sell their products. She was dismayed—but not surprised—by this year’s supporters. 

Janet Tarasofsky is the founder of Speaking Rights, an organisation that trains leaders to challenge the norm through conversations said: “I wouldn’t say anyone should support guns or any type of violence, no way, but I also believe that equality has to expand across all industries”; “But am I shocked? Yes, I am. It’s interesting that there’s no person behind the IWD website—I wonder what that says?”

Hawkes, who is the head of The Lancet‘s Gender and Global Health Commission, questioned why no one had joined the dots and asked why. He further said that the Lancet Commission was focused on asking why the public health industry was not using the same tactics to sell positive health messages. “We know the tobacco and alcohol industries are really good at understanding, manipulating, and exploiting gender to sell their stuff so why on earth hasn’t the public health industry responded in the same way?”


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