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Menstruation badges for female employees spark public outcry in Japan

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Japanese department store Daimura’s new wellness policy — in which employees at the Osaka Umeda branch can choose to wear a specific badge during menstruation — has fueled criticism from the general public.

The company’s spokesperson, Yoko Higuchi, said Daimura will “reconsider” the policy rather than calling it off.

The badges were first suggested by an employee to foster sympathy among coworkers and improve the overall working environment for female employees.

Employees who want to wear the badge can put it below their name tags. Those who wish to inform others of their period can display the side with an existing manga character Seiri Chan (translation: Miss Period), while the ones whose menstrual cycle is over can flip to the other side of the badge.

This was introduced in October for about 500 employees in the Osaka Umeda branch, and it was linked to the opening of its new women’s wellbeing section in November.

“We received many complaints from the public. Some of them concerned harassment, and that was definitely not our intention,” said an unnamed male executive at the branch.

The story was first published by The Japan Times.

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