INTERNATIONAL

KuToo Movement: Japanese Women protest high heels

A social media campaign against dress codes and expectations that women wear high heels at work has gone viral in Japan, with thousands joining the KuToo movement.

Nearly 20,000 women have signed an online petition demanding the government ban companies from requiring female employees to wear high heels on the job – an example of gender discrimination, says Yumi Ishikawa, who started the drive.

The KuToo campaign is a play on the word for shoes, or “kutsu” in Japanese, and “kutsuu” or pain.

Ishikawa, a 32-year-old actress and freelance writer, hopes the petition she submitted to the health ministry on Monday will lead to changes in the workplace and greater awareness about gender discrimination.

She launched the campaign after tweeting about being forced to wear high heels for a part-time job at a funeral parlor – and drew an overwhelming response from women.

“After work, everyone changes into sneakers or flats,” she wrote in the petition, adding that high heels can cause bunions, blisters and strain the lower back.

“It’s hard to move, you can’t run and your feet hurt. All because of manners,” she wrote, pointing out that men don’t face the same expectations.

While many Japanese companies may not explicitly require female employees to wear high heels, many women do so because of tradition and social expectations.

Ishikawa said her campaign had received more attention from international media outlets than domestic ones, and there was a tendency in Japan to portray the issue as a health one, not a gender one.

“Japan is thickheaded about gender discrimination,” she told Reuters in an interview. “It’s way behind other countries in this regard.”

Japan ranks 110th out of 149 countries in the World Economic Forum’s gender-equality ranking.

“We need people to realize that gender discrimination can show up in lots of small ways,” Ishikawa said, from how women are treated by their bosses to expectations that women will do all the housework and child-rearing even if they work.

About author

Articles

A prolific writer of about two decades standing experience
Related posts
INTERNATIONAL

Envoy pledges to strengthen Nigerian-Turkey relations

Amb. Ismail Yusuf, the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, has promised to promote…
Read more
INTERNATIONALNEWS

Seme Border: Group charges Amb Buratai to facilitate healthy trade relations, national security between Nigeria/Benin Republic

…passes vote of confidence on Nigeria’s envoy to the Benin Republic Nigeria’s…
Read more
FEATURESINTERNATIONAL

Climate change: Extinction Rebellion Nigeria Coordinator writes President Buhari

OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF…
Read more
Newsletter
Get latest news update now

Sign up for News headquarters Daily Digest and get trending updates tailored for you now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.