An Osaka department store is reconsidering a plan for employees to wear badges when they’re menstruating, which was originally aimed at fostering sympathy among co-workers but triggered a public outcry.
The Daimaru Umeda department store in Osaka said Thursday that it had hoped to encourage bonding by having menstruating staff wear a badge featuring a manga character named Seiri Chan (Miss Period).
— ベギラマ㌧子さん (@tontontontonhin) November 25, 2019
“We received many complaints from the public. Some of them concerned harassment, and that was definitely not our intention. We’re reconsidering plans now,” said a male executive who declined to be named. A spokesperson was not immediately available.
The backlash comes as cases of workplace harassment have come under the spotlight in the nation amid a shrinking workforce and changing values about gender roles and work-life balance. Companies are increasingly and publicly being criticized for bullying and gender discrimination.
The Daimaru executive said the store had not intended to make the badge compulsory.