Amazon has found itself in the middle of a controversy involving gender inequality.
Despite their progressive business model, the company is being accused of unfairly applying their policies that ensure equality for women. These sorts of policies are in place in the United States and other developed countries but Amazon has a seemingly different stance in other countries.
For instance, Amazon India dissociated itself from Swara Bhasker, a Bollywood actress who was doing a campaign with them, after she spoke out in protest of the brutal rape and murder of an 8-year-old. Bhasker, along with many other Bollywood celebrities, tweeted a photo of herself holding a poster that read, “I am Hindustan. I am ashamed. 8 years old. Gangraped. Murdered. In ‘Devi’-sthaan temple. #Kathua.”
There has been a mixed public response to this online protest, but a large majority of people have taken offense to the posters and said that they are “anti-national and communal.” After Bhasker tweeted about her campaign with Amazon India, there was more public uproar and Amazon deleted the tweet about their partnership with the actor. In doing this, they sided with rape-apologists and silenced a woman who had spoken up about the struggles that Indian women and children are too often exposed to.
It’s hypocritical of Amazon to claim to be a progressive company when they only endorse progressiveness in certain countries. It’s not equality if some women are treated more fairly than others depending on their location in the world.
Amazon India has declined to respond media requests but sent private messages to concerned customers claiming that they have not dissociated themselves with Bhasker, they are just waiting for an “appropriate time“ to reestablish the partnership.
Amazon’s actions and their refusal to publicly acknowledge their decisions is unnerving and makes it seem like the company has taken the side of those who oppose the protests against child rape. They are essentially condoning the harmful treatment of women and children in India. If they are going to promote gender equality, those beliefs should carry over to the other sects of the company.
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