Company to rethink asking female employees to wear 'period badges'
A Japanese department store is now "rethinking" a policy where they allowed staff to wear badges if they were menstruating.
The badges, which featured a cartoon character known as Miss Period - were introduced in October for the 500 or so staff in the women's wardrobe department at the Daimaru branch at Osaka Umeda.
They were reportedly voluntary, and were introduced after a suggestion from employees to indicate when they required extra help or longer breaks.
"It was never the intention to share the menstrual information with their customers," a spokesperson told the BBC.
On one side, the badge announced that a new section of the store dedicated to "women's wellbeing" was opening on the 22nd November, and on the other side was the "Seiri-chan" mascot, with "seiri" translating as period or menstruation.
Representative, Yoko Higuchi, stated that the idea behind the initiative was to "improve the working environment" for female staff by encouraging transparency around women's health.
Higuchi went onto say that some employees "didn't see the point" in the badges, and were "reluctant" to wear them.
"But others were positive, she countered. "If you saw a colleague was having her period, you could offer to carry heavy things for her, or suggest she takes longer breaks, and this support would be mutual."
The store notified the media about the scheme on the 21st November, but several news outlets incorrectly reported that the purpose was to inform customers, as well as staff, about when a woman was on her period.
An unidentified Daimaru executive told Japan Today that this resulted in "many complaints" from the public, with "some of them concerning harassment".
This woman claimed she got rid of period pain by smearing menstrual blood on skin:
While Daimaru are not cancelling the scheme, they will attempt to come up with a more discreet way of sharing the information.