It is always nice to receive news regarding events that celebrate and demonstrate appreciation towards women. In celebration of International Women’s Day, the KFC divisions in Malaysia have appointed a female figure as the new face of the company. The guest of honor in discussion is Claudia Sanders, Colonel Sanders’ second wife whom he met through their former employment relationship. She was employed as a server at Sanders Café, Colonel Sanders’ first dining establishment – as revealed by Business Insider. Subsequently, Claudia became a prominent figure due to her contribution and role in the success of the fast food franchise that is now available across the world.

Merrill Pereyra, the CEO of QSR Brands, the corporation that KFC establishments in Malaysia ultimately belong to, posted a video on Youtube:

“Mrs. Sanders played a very important role in the success of KFC. While the Colonel was busy promoting his chicken and running the company, she took orders in the restaurant, mixed the secret blend of herbs and spices, and as you know, in those days there were no courier services, so she had to take the orders to the train station for shipping.”

This video, aside from justifying the move, served as Claudia’s introduction.

Claudia played an integral part in the business and is no stranger to the general public. As a matter of fact, she has had previous encounters with the media.

In an early interview with Claudia, the Associated Press quoted, “while he was out selling, I was home doing the work.”

Claudia’s significant contribution is clearly acknowledged and illustrated in her obituary produced by the Associated Press back in 1997.

”We could not have been the company we are now without Claudia’s contributions,” David Novak, KFC’s president and chief executive expressed with gratitude.

No matter how far women have come in terms of achieving equal rights in legal proceedings, the progress in societal and political aspects remain ostensible. We have arrived at an era in which women are contending for equal treatments in our daily lives. This is an aspect that does not have an exact standard of measurement, which is why an event like this is significant.

“To all women of KFC and the world out there, we would like to say that your future is always bright, equal, safe and rewarding. Keep inspiring us and impacting lives and thank you for all your hard work and contribution to our community, family and this organization,” Pereyra coherently articulated the firm’s attempt to show appreciation and gratitude towards women’s effort in the workplace and domestically in an interview with Marketing Magazine.

This, nonetheless, is not the first demonstration of female appreciation by the KFC branches. Prior to the appointment of Claudia as the face of the company, the role of a female Sanders belonged to another. Reba McEntire as the mascot was the first appointed female counterpart to Colonel Sanders. This evidently shows KFC’s efforts in advocating for gender equality. Following closely behind is the fast food chain Mcdonald’s. In honor of International Women’s Day, McDonald’s decided to rotate the prominent ‘M’ in its logo into a ‘W’. This advertising strategy centers on the idea of ‘W’ for women.

Amidst these strategic marketing moves (and as a tribute to Claudia), many have criticized the inadequacy of their efforts. They feel that the one-day occurrence is not sufficient for the advocacy of women’s rights. Be that as it may, we should all appreciate the effort involved. Much like the fight for every other cause, we need to take it one step at a time. Regardless of the extent of a move, some is always better than none.

Let us continue to advocate and contend for gender equality and look forward to making more progress.

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