Backlash as Japanese companies ban women from wearing glasses at work because they give a ‘cold impression’
- The hashtag ‘glasses are forbidden’ has been trending in Japan
- Companies have imposed clothing regulations which women are protesting
- The outcry comes after protests this year against compulsory high heels at work
Japanese women have been banned from wearing glasses at work by companies trying to impose rigid rules on appearance.
Certain retail chains said glasses give women a ‘cold impression’ but women are protesting the new rules.
The hashtag ‘glasses are forbidden’ has been trending after a Japanese television show exposed businesses that were imposing the bans on female staff.
Japanese women have been banned from wearing glasses at work by companies trying to impose rigid rules on appearance
‘These are rules that are out of date,’ one Twitter user posted under the hashtag, while another called the reasons given by employers ‘idiotic’.
One woman who works in restaurants tweeted that she was repeatedly told not to wear her glasses because it would appear ‘rude’ and they did not go with the traditional kimono she wore.
The tweet, posted under the handle @wine_kimono last month, has since been shared nearly 13,000 times.
Other companies imposing the ban say it is for safety reasons for airline workers, or being unable to see make-up properly for women working in the beauty sector.
The hashtag ‘glasses are forbidden’ has been trending after a Japanese television show exposed businesses that were imposing the bans
‘If the rules prohibit only women to wear glasses, this is a discrimination against women,’ Kanae Doi, the Japan director at global advocacy group Human Rights Watch, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday.
The latest outcry comes after a campaign earlier this year that demanded Japanese companies stop forcing their female staff to wear high heels to work.
More than 21,000 people signed an online petition started by Japanese writer and actress Yumi Ishikawa earlier this year that called for a ban on compulsory high heels at work, in what has been known as the #KuToo movement.
Actress and writer Yumi Ishikawa started a petition banning compulsory high heels at work
The phrase plays on the Japanese words for shoes ‘kutsu’ and pain ‘kutsuu’.
In response, a Japanese minister said dress code expectations were ‘necessary and appropriate’ in the workplace.
Japan was ranked 110 out of 149 countries in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap report, well behind other developed countries.
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