Japanese city apologizes for advising new-born women to do housework

The mayor of Onomichi in Japan apologized for the city’s distribution of leaflets advising women to do housework so as not to irritate their husbands.

The Onomichi city government in Hiroshima Prefecture in 2017 conducted a survey, then used the results to create leaflets offering advice to pregnant and new-born women. This week, the Japanese media’s attention to the leaflets and their content sparked anger on social media.

“Men often act according to reason and women according to emotions,” the leaflet reads. “It’s important to understand the differences and divide roles well.”

The leaflet says that men always want to be thanked for doing things like washing dishes, changing diapers and holding babies, and advises women not to “get upset for no reason”. The wife may anger her husband if they are “busy with the children and neglect the housework”.

The Onomichi government advises women to pamper their husbands with massages, prepare lunches, take care of the children, do housework, and welcome their husbands home with a smiling face.

Onomichi Mayor Yukihiro Hiratani posted an apology on the local government’s website on July 25, saying the leaflet “does not fit the mentality of pregnant women, new-born women or those raising children”. small, and at the same time makes many people uncomfortable.”

A woman walks with her child in a park in Tokyo, Japan on May 11.  Photo: AFP

A woman walks with her child in a park in Tokyo, Japan on May 11. Image: AFP

Many people have criticized the content in the leaflet. “It’s terrible that the local government spreads the idea that taking care of children is the mother’s job, while the father only plays a supporting role. I want the local government to raise awareness that fathers are also the fathers. are the ones who play a major role in taking care of the children,” one Twitter user said.

“Stress is the enemy of pregnancy, so why does it only happen to women?” another user wrote, pointing out that childbirth takes a serious toll on a woman’s body.

Mayor Onomichi said the government had stopped handing out the leaflets because they “promote stereotyped behavior and views about the division of roles by gender”.

Some internet users said the leaflets reflected outdated gender norms in Japan and the burden of gender inequality on women. This is believed to be one of the reasons for the continuously declining birth rate in Japan.

Japan is still a largely patriarchal, conservative society and is currently ranked at 125/146 countries on the World Economic Forum’s gender equality index. (WEF) announced. In Japan, women account for 10% of seats in parliament and 12.9% in senior or managerial positions in the labor market.

Leave a Comment