We from M.A.S.ES had noticed a promo with a gender discriminating content on ebay.in website. The promo was titled ‘for him’ & ‘for her’. It had listed few products labeling that the technical gadgets is for men and ‘fashion’ for women. We found it to be gender discriminating because it propagates that Women are mere consumers of products for Sex Appeal & Life Style. Moreover it addresses as if there are only two binary elements (male / female) in the society. What about the Queer People. Don’t they have rights / ability to use those products?!
A signature campaign was started on 10.01.2012 through change.org requesting ebay.in to remove the discriminating content and support was sought through various online channels. The Petition Organizer had taken the request to remove the discriminating content to ebay.in via its tollfree (C.S), feedback forums, discussion forums, ebaycomplaints.org. The response from ebay.in was not satisfactory. After continuous efforts there was a reply from ebay team saying that ebay does not intend to support any discrimination, but they did not remove the content.
More and More efforts were made to make ebay understand our concern. There were disrespectful comments made on ebay.in feedback forum by its sellers / members. But we never gave up.
Many notable Writers, Senior Activists, Human Rights activists had signed the petition. It also gained the support of People outside India. More than a hundred people had joined this campaign on Change.org calling on eBay India to remove gender discriminating promotions from the website, but there was no response from ebay, so a press release was made and circulated to Media. If ebay was not removing the content, then we had planned to handover the petition in person to ebay at its Chennai office.
By then, Chennaionline.com had published the news immediately. By evening we noticed that ebay.in had removed the discriminating content on 23.01.2012 and a new promo was up on their home page. Though we did not get a written statement from ebay regarding this, we hope that in future ebay.in and advertising agencies would be sensitive towards Gender Respect.