5-speed listening (High Heels - Level 3)

Japanese women rebel against high heels



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Women across Japan are fed up with having to wear high-heeled shoes to work. One woman is so fed up that she started a movement to end the requirement for female employees to wear the shoes. The movement has the hashtag KuToo. This is a combination of the Japanese words "kutsu" (which means shoe) and "kutsuu" (which is the Japanese word for pain). The movement was started by Japanese actress Yumi Ishikawa. She tweeted about her belief that employers in Japan should not require female workers to wear high heels. Ms Ishikawa also launched an online petition. It asks Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to forbid employers from requiring women to wear certain types of shoes.

Ishikawa's tweet is now spreading across other parts of Asia. Many women in China and South Korea have started their own campaigns against having to wear high heels. Ishikawa told TIME magazine: "I thought that if there are so many people who feel the same as me, why not start some sort of movement." Many women supported Ishikawa on social media. They complained about sore feet, bleeding heels, back pain and other health issues. A visually impaired woman in her 20s who has to wear high heels at work said it is difficult for her to keep her balance and not fall over. A recent survey found that over 70 per cent of women working in Tokyo wear high heels to work at least once a week.

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