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GEORGIA’S OMBUDSMAN SPEAKS OUT AGAINST BANK OF GEORGIA’S SEXIST ADD

Georgia’s ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili addressed Bank of Georgia with his concern regarding the institution’s recent advertisement which was sexist in its content. Mr Nanuashvili made general recommendations as to how the bank should avoid such instances in the future. The provoking add in question is a caricature drawing of a married couple, in which a woman is asking her husband for money and the man is portrayed as an ATM. The husband on the add was named “kmarkomati,” literally translated from Georgian as “Husband-ATM.” “The add’s title ‘Husband-ATM’ stems from a very materialistic notion, since ATM’s are used in order to make financial transactions easier,” — the ombudsman commented. Mr Nanuashvili stated that the add was sexist in nature and in its form strengthened the existing gender stereotypes in the Georgian society, according to which the females are believed to be financially dependent on the men. “Advertising possesses the power to play a positive role in destroying stereotypes and strengthening the gender balance in Georgia. Advertising, when used correctly, has the potential to lessen the cases of violence against women and can propagate the economic independence of women, rather than limit it.” The ombudsman advised Bank of Georgia which has a high rating in Georgia, to restrain from producing and popularizing such sexist advertising in the future. “On the contrary, the advertising team should stimulate women’s social empowerment. Adds should show respect toward women and portray them as on the equal footing with men,” reads the ombudsman’s statement. Mr Nanuashvili also suggested that Bank of Georgia’s PR and marketing team should be given trainings in gender studies.