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Woman starts petition to abolish heels in workplace, job interviews

By Elaine Kirui | June 5th 2019
Ms Ishikawa explains how she was forced to wear high heels in two of her part-time jobs.

A Japanese activist and writer, Yumi Ishikawa, has led more than 19,000 of her fellow citizens and other online supporters in signing a petition to ban an office dress code that necessitates women to wear high heels to work.

In a Twitter thread, she details how it is mandatory for women to wear heels while looking for a job as well as at their workplace.

Under the #KuToo and #MeToo hashtags, Ishikawa shares her experiences and what she has done to see the requirement outlawed.

“I am hoping to get rid of the custom that someday women have to wear heels and pumps at work,” she wrote.

She adds, “Why do I have to work with my leg hurting.”

Ms Ishikawa explains how she was forced to wear high heels in two of her part-time jobs.

She also narrates how envious she was when she saw men in the same profession working in comfortable shoes.

According to her, it would be easy for women to move around without having to worry about their footsteps if they wore their most preferred shoes to work.

Ishikawa writes that it is difficult to change this requirement as it is not a gazetted law in the Constitution but rather a traditional requirement imposed on women.

In her tweets, she calls out everyone in a company to talk heads in regards to the abolishment of the policy.

In her interview with Reuters, Ishikawa stated that her campaign has been given attention by international media houses compared to those in Japan.

She said that in her country the issue was considered a health one rather than that of gender.

“Japan is thickheaded about gender discrimination. We need people to realise that gender discrimination can show up in lots of small ways” she said.

Ishikawa also said that she has received a lot of backlash from social media users.

However, in one of her tweets, she firmly says that the #KuToo campaign is her stance.

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