A commercial with a powerful message urging fathers and husbands to help women with household chores is going viral with the hashtag #SharetheLoad.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shared the commercial on her Facebook page Wednesday, calling it “one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen.”
“When little girls and boys play house they model their parents' behavior; this doesn’t just impact their childhood games, it shapes their long-term dreams,” Sandberg wrote alongside the video, which has been viewed more than two million times on her Facebook post alone.
The commercial shows a father in India reading a letter to his daughter, who is seen bustling about the house, multi-tasking on the phone as she takes care of her family.
“My little baby girl. You’re all grown up now. You used to play house. And now you manage your own house and your office. I am so proud and I am so sorry,” the father says in the ad.
“I never told you that it’s not your job alone, but your husband’s too but how could I have said it, when I never helped your mom either,” the father continues. “Your husband must have learnt the same from his dad.... Sorry on behalf of his dad ... sorry on behalf of every dad who set the wrong example.”
The commercial was created by BBDO India and released on YouTube last week by Ariel India, a washing machine company that is part of the Procter & Gamble family.
“Companies have long made ads that also carry social messages, but this is new in that they’re addressing what is a very controversial topic in Indian society," Patrick Coffee of Adweek magazine told ABC News. "From what I hear, it has already gone viral in India and sparked debates about how realistically it portrays the struggles faced by women in various parts of Indian society."
The topic of the work women do in the home was also in the headlines this week thanks to Melinda Gates, who brought up the issue when she and her husband, Bill Gates, released their annual letter outlining the goals for their philanthropic foundation.
Gates wrote in the letter that women and girls "will spend hundreds of thousands more hours than boys doing unpaid work simply because society assumes it’s their responsibility.”
“When I talk about unpaid work, it's some of the caring things we want to do at home, like care for our children or the elderly. But it's things like chores. And if you are spending your time, particularly in the developing world, carrying water, chopping wood, or even in the U.S. doing laundry or chores, it means you don't reach your potential,” Gates told "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Wednesday.
“You need to talk with your partner even before you're married about whose roles and responsibilities. What are the hidden expectations of this work?" Gates said of her advice to women.
The Ariel India commercial on the topic has sparked a conversation on Twitter, where people are weighing in with the #SharetheLoad hashtag.