The Philippines has banned companies from making women wear high heels to work, under a government order hailed by a labour group Monday (Sep 25). The labour department took this step on Sunday after considering concerns of shopping mall clerks, hotel receptionists, and flight attendants.
Employers should encourage the use of practical and comfortable footwear to enhance the health of workers who stand for long periods, the order said.
“It’s a form of torture. It’s a form of oppression and slavery. Imagine having to endure that pain for eight to 10 hours a day,” Alan Tanjusay, spokesman for the Associated Labor Unions, told AFP. “It’s also a form of sexism because culturally employers say women wearing high heels look taller and sexier and are then more attractive, more effective in selling products. They don’t know the women are suffering.”
The department order said, “These (work shoes) should not pinch the feet or toes; are well-fitted and non-slipping; provide adequate cushion and support to the arch of the feet; either flat or with low heels that must be wide-based or wedge type,” it said.