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Women In Japan Told They Can't Wear Glasses At Work

Japan's women are demanding the right to wear their glasses after some workplaces banned them.

Japan's Nippon TV exposed a number of businesses imposing a 'ban' on female staff wearing glasses for a number of reasons.

Among the workplaces asking women to ditch the specs were restaurants, beauticians, clothing stores and airlines.

Safety was an issue for airline workers, while not being able to see make-up properly was a common reason in the beauty sector.

Other companies claimed that glasses made women look cold, unfeminine or too intelligent.

Men are allowed to wear glasses at work.

The revelation was met with intense criticism on social media -- the hashtag 'glasses ban' was instantly trending on Twitter.

Among those against the ban was American singer and songwriter Cyndi Lauper who tweeted that glasses help her work more efficiently.

Others slammed the move as discriminatory, agreeing that safety is the only understandable reason for a glasses ban.

One user detailed a story about how she was forced to use contact lenses despite recovering from conjunctivitis.

Another labelled the rules "out of date".

The uproar comes just months after a petition was launched to have a rule, forcing women to wear heels in the workplace, to be scrapped.

More than 31,000 people have signed the petition calling for flats to be accepted as office attire.

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Actor, writer and feminist Yumi Ishikawa is behind the push. She has also slammed the ban on wearing glasses.

“If wearing glasses is a real problem at work it should be banned for everyone — men and women,” Ishikawa reportedly said, according to Bloomberg News.

“This problem with glasses is the exact same as high heels. It’s only a rule for female workers”.

Image: Getty

Kumiko Nemoto, professor of sociology at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies has labelled the policies 'outdated'.

"The reasons why women are not supposed to wear glasses ... really don't make sense. It's all about gender. It's pretty discriminatory," she told the BBC.

"It's not about how women do their work. The company ... values the women's appearance as being feminine and that's opposite to someone who wears glasses."

Japan is well behind other developed countries when it comes to gender equality.

The World Economic Forum's latest global gender gap report has Japan ranked 110 out of 149 nations.

That is lower than Liberia, Azerbaijan and Myanmar and far lower than the global average.

Australia in comparison is ranked 39.