Why Japanese corporations ban women from sporting glasses — Quartz

The hashtag “glasses are forbidden” (#メガネ禁止) has been trending on social media in Japan this week following the airing of a program on the Nippon TV community exploring how firms in numerous sectors don’t enable female workers to wear glasses on the job. The program followed a report printed late last month by Business Insider Japan (link in Japanese) on the identical issue. Japanese women on social media are demanding the right to put on glasses to work, after stories that employers had been imposing bans. According to the BBC, several Japanese retailers stated corporations have “banned” women from sporting eyeglasses and that they give a “chilly impression” to female shop assistants. The program listed numerous reasons that employers gave for not wanting women to put on glasses while at work.

The Nippon TV network and Business Insider were among the many retailers to report on the issue, which looked at how companies in different industries prohibit women from wearing glasses. Wearing glasses at work has turn out to be an emotive subject in Japan following reviews that some corporations have told feminine staff to remove them. Earlier this 12 months there was a name for Japanese companies to stop forcing female workers to wear high heels. More than 21,000 people signed a web-based petition started by a female actor in what has turn into often known as the #KuToo motion. “If the rules prohibit solely women to put on glasses, it is a discrimination in opposition to women,” Kanae Doi, the Japan director at Human Rights Watch, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday.

japanese women

The term #KuToo is a triple pun, playing on the Japanese words kutsu (sneakers), kutsuu (ache), and the #MeToo movement. The explosion of interest in discriminatory treatment towards women at the office also comes amid a growing rejection of sexist norms in Japanese society as the #MeToo movement began gaining ground since 2018. From necessary high heels to a ban on glasses, Japanese women have been busy pushing back against restrictive and anachronistic dress codes within the workplace in 2019. That has sparked heated dialogue on Japanese social media over gown practices and ladies within the workplace. In the newest protest in opposition to inflexible rules over women’s appearance, the hashtag “glasses are forbidden” was trending on Twitter in reaction to a Japanese television show that uncovered businesses that have been imposing the bans on feminine workers.

japanese women

At Japan’s Most Elite University, Just 1 in 5 Students Is a Woman

The hashtag #メガネ禁止 (#GlassesBan) was trending on Twitter by Wednesday, with women and men saying they disagreed with the policy. Yanfei Zhou, a researcher at the Japan Institute for Labor Policy & Training and writer of a guide on the topic, “Japan’s Married Stay-at-Home Mothers in Poverty,” contends there’s a niche of 200 million yen ($1.eighty two million) in lifetime income between women who work full-time and girls who swap from full-time to part-time on the age of 40 japanese women for marriage. More than forty% of half-time working women earn 1 million yen ($9,a hundred) or much less a year, in accordance with Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. The lack of advantages, job security and alternative for advancement—hallmarks of full-time employment in Japan—make such women financially vulnerable, notably if they don’t have a partner to share expenses with.

Japanese men typically see their compensation rise until they attain 60. For women, average compensation stays largely the same from their late twenties to their sixties, a reality attributable to pauses in employment tied to having youngsters or part-time, quite than full-time, work. Since the mid-2000s, half-time employment rates have fallen for ladies in more than half the countries that make up the OECD. But in Japan, the development is reversed, with half-time work among women rising over the previous 15 years.

BBC News Services

Domestic airlines mentioned it was for security causes, corporations in the magnificence business said it was difficult to see the employee’s make-up correctly behind glasses, while main retail chains mentioned female shop assistants give off a “chilly impression” in the event that they put on glasses. Traditional Japanese restaurants mentioned that glasses simply don’t go properly with conventional Japanese dress. Earlier this 12 months, Japanese women began voicing their discontent with arcane office restrictions on their appears by way of the #KuToo movement, which drew attention to the requirement that many corporations nonetheless have that ladies wear excessive heels to work.

A confluence of things that include an getting older inhabitants, falling birth rates and anachronistic gender dynamics are conspiring to damage their prospects for a snug retirement. According to Seiichi Inagaki, a professor at the International University of Health and Welfare, the poverty rate for older Japanese women will greater than double over the next forty years, to 25%.

BBC News Navigation

japanese women

The chorus of discontent towards the glasses ban echoes an identical phenomenon in South Korea final yr, when a female information anchor broke ranks and determined to put on glasses instead of putting on contact lenses for her early morning show. The sight of a girl wearing glasses reading the news not solely shocked viewers, but also prompted an area airline to evaluate its own insurance policies and permit feminine cabin crew to wear glasses.

Explore the BBC

But there are additional obstacles for Japanese women. Although 3.5 million of them have entered the workforce since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took workplace in 2012, two-thirds are working solely half-time. With entitlement costs skyrocketing, the federal government has responded by scaling back benefits while proposing to lift the retirement age. Some Japanese responded by moving cash out of low-curiosity bank accounts and into 401(okay)-type retirement plans, hoping investment features may soften the blow.

But such a strategy requires savings, and girls in Japan are less likely to have any. But even with these advantages, Japanese women—whether or not single or married, full-time or half-time—face a tough monetary future.

A more substantial coverage provides dormitory subsidies to women from outdoors Greater Tokyo, an effort to mollify mother and father who might fear about security in the big metropolis. The university pays 30,000 yen a month — roughly $275 — for about one hundred feminine college students. Critics have attacked the policy as discriminatory against men. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promoted an agenda of female empowerment, boasting that Japan’s labor drive participation rate amongst women outranks even the United States. Yet few women make it to the manager suite or the highest levels of government.