Why Japanese firms ban women from sporting glasses — Quartz

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 book 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 revenue between women who work full-time and girls who change from full-time to half-time at the age of 40. More than forty% of part-time working women earn 1 million yen ($9,a hundred) or much less a 12 months, according to Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. The lack of advantages, job security and alternative for development—hallmarks of full-time employment in Japan—make such women financially weak, particularly if they don’t have a partner to share bills with.

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The Nippon TV community and Business Insider have been among the outlets to report on the problem, which looked at how corporations in numerous industries prohibit women from wearing glasses. Wearing glasses at work has turn out to be an emotive topic in Japan following stories that some corporations have informed feminine workers to take away them. Earlier this year there was a name for Japanese corporations to stop forcing female workers to wear high heels. More than 21,000 individuals signed an internet petition started by a female actor in what has turn out to be known as the #KuToo motion. “If the rules prohibit only women to put on glasses, this can be a discrimination in opposition to women,” Kanae Doi, the Japan director at Human Rights Watch, advised the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday.

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 companies in different sectors do not permit feminine workers to put on glasses on the job. The program followed a report published late last month by Business Insider Japan (hyperlink in Japanese) on the same issue. Japanese women on social media are demanding the best to put on glasses to work, after reviews that employers were imposing bans. According to the BBC, a number of Japanese retailers said corporations have “banned” women from sporting eyeglasses and that they give a “chilly impression” to female store assistants. The program listed numerous reasons that employers gave for not wanting women to put on glasses whereas at work.

A extra substantial policy offers dormitory subsidies to women from exterior Greater Tokyo, an effort to mollify mother and father who might worry about security in the massive city. The university pays 30,000 yen a month — roughly $275 — for about 100 female 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 force participation price amongst women outranks even the United States. Yet few women make it to the chief suite or the best ranges of presidency.

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Domestic airways stated it was for safety reasons, firms in the magnificence trade stated it was tough to see the employee’s make-up correctly behind glasses, whereas major retail chains mentioned female shop assistants give off a “chilly impression” in the event that they put on glasses. Traditional Japanese eating places stated that glasses simply do not go nicely with conventional Japanese dress. Earlier this yr, Japanese women began voicing their discontent with arcane office restrictions on their appears by way of the #KuToo motion, which drew attention to the requirement that many companies nonetheless have that ladies put on high heels to work.

The refrain of discontent against the glasses ban echoes an identical phenomenon in South Korea final 12 months, when a feminine information anchor broke ranks and decided to put on glasses as an alternative of placing on contact lenses for her early morning show. The sight of a girl sporting glasses reading the news not only shocked viewers, but additionally prompted a local airline to evaluation its own insurance policies and permit feminine cabin crew to put on glasses.

But there are further 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 only part-time. With entitlement prices skyrocketing, the government has responded by scaling again benefits whereas proposing to boost the retirement age. Some Japanese responded by shifting cash out of low-curiosity financial institution accounts and into 401(ok)-type retirement plans, hoping investment positive aspects might soften the blow.

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But such a method requires financial 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 difficult monetary future.

Japan ‘glasses ban’ for girls at work sparks backlash

A confluence of things that include an growing older inhabitants, falling delivery rates and anachronistic gender dynamics are conspiring to wreck their prospects for a cushty meet japanese lady retirement. According to Seiichi Inagaki, a professor at the International University of Health and Welfare, the poverty rate for older Japanese women will more than double over the following forty years, to 25%.

Japanese men generally see their compensation rise until they reach 60. For women, common 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 charges have fallen for girls in more than half the nations that make up the OECD. But in Japan, the development is reversed, with part-time work among women rising over the past 15 years.

The time period #KuToo is a triple pun, taking part in on the Japanese phrases kutsu (footwear), kutsuu (ache), and the #MeToo motion. The explosion of interest in discriminatory treatment against women at the office additionally comes amid a rising rejection of sexist norms in Japanese society because the #MeToo motion started gaining floor since 2018. From obligatory high heels to a ban on glasses, Japanese women have been busy pushing again towards restrictive and anachronistic gown codes in the workplace in 2019. That has sparked heated discussion on Japanese social media over gown practices and girls in the workplace. In the newest protest towards rigid guidelines over women’s appearance, the hashtag “glasses are forbidden” was trending on Twitter in response to a Japanese television show that uncovered businesses that had been imposing the bans on female employees.