The mayor of a Japanese city, Onomichi in western Hiroshima prefecture, issued an apology following a public outcry over a flyer distributed to pregnant women. The flyer contained advice to expectant mothers on what actions irritated husbands the most after their wives became mothers. This incident caused controversy and raised concerns about perpetuating gender stereotypes.
The flyer included a section titled "Advice from Fathers to You," which featured responses from a survey conducted with new fathers five years ago. Officials had been sharing this information with pregnant women, presumably with the intention of providing insights into new fathers' perspectives on their wives' behaviour after childbirth.
Several men expressed their frustration when their wives appeared to be upset without apparent reasons or couldn't manage household chores due to their focus on caring for the baby. This incident sparked an intense backlash on social media, as it highlighted the enduring gender stereotypes that Japanese women have been fighting against for a long time.
Japanese Mayor Apologises For Flyer Issued To Pregnant Women
In response to the outcry, Onomichi Mayor Yuko Hiratani issued a formal apology on Tuesday and subsequently withdrew the controversial flyer. City official Akira Takahashi confirmed this development when speaking to AFP on Thursday.
The mayor acknowledged that the document had caused distress among individuals raising children, including pregnant women and mothers with newborn babies, leading to offence for many people. The contents of the document were criticised for promoting rigid gender-based roles, prompting the city to halt its distribution. A sincere apology was issued for the incident.
Despite the actions taken, public complaints persisted, partly fueled by local media coverage of the matter. Some individuals questioned the document's bias, wondering why it wasn't titled "from senior fathers to new fathers" instead. Others highlighted the need to educate fathers on how to support their wives before and after giving birth. These comments were shared on Twitter, which is undergoing a rebranding as X.
As of Wednesday evening, the city had received a total of 156 emails and 51 phone calls, with the majority of them expressing criticism about the controversial document. According to Takahashi, city officials are actively reviewing all relevant materials and documents. Their goal is to implement the necessary changes that take into account the various ideas and perspectives concerning family issues that have been brought to their attention.
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