About 100 female activists on Mar. 3, Girl’s Day, formed a human chain and surrounded the Labor Ministry building in Tokyo to demand equal rights.

The event was initiated by Mizuho Fukushima, a noted attorney who specializes in women’s issues, and other leading feminists. The participants dressed themselves in pink because Girls’ Day, or Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival), features the pink blossoms of Japanese apricots and because “women’s jobs,” such as secretarial work or nursing, have been dubbed “pink-collar jobs,” they said.

The activists surrounded the ministry complex that also houses the Health and Welfare Ministry. The targets of the rally were the Labor Ministry, which is currently drafting revisions to the Equal Employment Opportunities Law, and the Health and Welfare Ministry, which is trying to introduce the elder-care insurance law. As they rallied around the ministries, the participants sang “Korega Watashi no Ikiru Michi” (“That’s the Way I Should Live”), a popular hit by the female duo Puffy.

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