The labor minister has indicated he will not support a drive to ban dress codes that force women to wear high heels at work.
“Employees’ health and safety need to be protected, but work is varied. It’s generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces,”
– Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto, who oversees the country’s workplace reforms.
His comments came after a group working against gender-based workplace discrimination submitted a petition with 18,800 signatures to the labor ministry calling for the government to ban companies from requiring women to wear high heels in the workplace, citing health and other issues.
The group, led by actress and writer Yumi Ishikawa, is part of the #KuToo movement — an amalgamation of #MeToo and the Japanese words for shoes, kutsu, and pain, kutsū.
While Otsuji stressed that a dress code applied only to women amounts to harassment, Nemoto said it’s only “abuse of power if a worker with a hurt foot is forced (to wear high heels).”
However, Emiko Takagai, a senior vice minister for Nemoto, said she does not believe women should be forced to wear high heels.
Ishikawa said the #KuToo movement is a way to raise awareness about sexism.
“It’s the view that appearances are more important for women at work than for men.”
Labor minister opposes banning dress codes in Japan that force women to wear high heels:
The Japan Times