#KuToo Campaign Aims to Ban High Heel Dress Code

In Japan, many workplaces require female employees to wear high heels. Actress and writer Yumi Ishikawa is putting her foot down — leading the #KuToo campaign to ban the dress code. 😠👠

Japanese Campaign to Ban High Heel Dress Code

This woman started a #KuToo campaign to ban high heel dress codes — which many workplaces require in Japan. The group is part of the #KuToo movement – a combination of "#MeToo" and the Japanese words for shoes "kutsu" and pain "kutsuu". While many Japanese companies may not explicitly require female employees to wear high heels, many of them do so because of tradition and social expectations, Reuters reports. More than 60 percent of women in Japan have experienced the enforcement of rules requiring them to wear heels in the workplace or while job-hunting, or have witnessed others being forced to wear them, according to a survey conducted by a Japanese business website that reported the findings to a Diet discussion.

Yumi Ishikawa is an empoweting actress and feminism fashion writer who started a petition with more than 28,000 signatures urging the government to ban companies from requiring heels at work according to Change.org The movement began in earlier in 2019 when Ishikawa, who works part time at a funeral parlor, tweeted about her frustration with the dress code, which says women had to wear high heels. The original tweet received more than 67,000 likes and nearly 30,000 retweets, Kyodo reports.

But Labor Minister Takumi Nemoto is not on the same page. Japan's labor minister indicates that he will not back a petition to ban dress codes that force women in Japanese offices to wear high heels at work. "It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said during a Diet committee session, according to Kyodo News service. However, Nemoto also said it could be considered “power harassment” if employers required female workers who had been injured to wear high heels.

The health ministry said it was reviewing the petition and declined to comment further.