#kutoo movement continues its fight to free women from company-enforced foot pain.

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is, as its name implies, the department of the Japanese government that’s supposed to make sure people are treated properly at work. So since Japanese women have found many companies turning a deaf ear to a concern female workers have been increasingly vocal about in recent months, this week those women visited the Ministry’s offices in Tokyo to plead their case directly to the organization.

Their complaint: it’s still very common for Japanese offices to require female employees to wear heels. Granted, they don’t say women have to wear super-high heels, but flats are considered a no-go in many white-collar dress codes, leaving mid-rise pumps as the mandated style of footwear.

But an increasing number of women are saying that they, and their feet, have had enough. On Monday, a delegation, which included 32-year-old gravure model and actress Yumi Ishikawa, presented the Ministry with a petition from nearly 19,000 women, asking for the government to make it illegal for employers to force employees to wear high heels at work.

▼ Ishikawa showing her figure

▼ Ishikawa showing her opinion on making women wear high heels

Speaking at a press conference following her visit to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Ishikawa recalled working a part-time job as a funeral service provider, and finishing a shift bleeding from her small toe because she’d had to wear pumps.

The petition is the latest initiative from Japan’s #kutoo movement (which takes its name from a corrupted rendering of kutsu, the Japanese word for “shoes”).

Ishikawa has become an active #kutoo advocate, and has been helping to draw attention to the #kutoo petition that remains in progress on the Japanese version of website Change.org.

▼ The petition’s banner image

▼ In addition to championing more sensible footwear, Ishikawa also recently took a moment to tweet about her love of wireless bras.

“Presenting the Ministry with the petition is just the first step,” promises Ishikawa. “I hope that the societal attitude that ‘You need to wear pumps to be appropriately dressed’ will change,”

Sources: Jiji via Yahoo! Japan News via Jin, Change.org
Featured image: Twitter/@ishikawa_yumi
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