What is the #KuToo campaign and where did it come from?

Japan is the latest battleground for women revolting against oppressive misogynistic policies. This time it is the KuToo movement. 

#KuToo movement is a social media campaign that has gone viral in Japan.

Nearly 20000 women have signed this online petition requesting the Labor Ministry to ban this culture at work for women.

It was started by Yumi Ishikawa, a 32-year-old actress who said she had to change career paths after having difficulty standing in heels for eight hours during training at a hotel.

As of today, there had been no official response to the petition, but Ms. Ishikawa said her efforts were greeted with scepticism by officials, who said it would be difficult to legislate the issue until the working world changed its culture.

“I guess the government and corporate communities don’t want to take a risk to change the society,” she said on her social media accounts. 

The #KuToo campaign is a play on the word for shoes, or “kutsu” in Japanese, and “kutsuu” or pain.

Ishikawa said that campaign received more attention from international media outlets than domestic ones, and there was a tendency in Japan to portray the issue as a health one, not a gender one.

“Japan is thickheaded about gender discrimination,” she told Reuters in an interview. “It’s way behind other countries in this regard.”

She said she had been the target of online harassment over the campaign, mostly from men.

The petition seeks to end gender discrimination and “make it easier for everyone to work, creating a working environment free from unnecessary burdens.

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