The Government in Philippines issued a new order on Sunday, which bans mandatory high heels for female employees at work. The move is being heralded as one of the first in the world. Earlier in April the Canadian province of British Columbia had issued a similar order. However, earlier in this year, the UK government rejected the calls for a ban on enforcing high heels.

“This frees women from a sexist policy and the bondage of unsafe and dangerous working conditions,” said Alan Tanjusay spokesperson for the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines. “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,” he added as per the reports by The Independent.

An estimated that around 1 million Philippino women will benefit from the legal order. The primary health issue experienced pain in the heels.

Reports say, that most women are short-term, contract workers. They are usually standing the whole day, working as cashiers, or ‘promo girls’, considering the flourishing mall businesses in the country.

The order that advocates ‘practical and comfortable footwear’ states:

  • Women employees such as salesladies and lady guards, should not be compelled to wear high-heeled shoes. Further they shouldn’t be deprived of a short span of sitting breaks to prevent health risks.
  • Companies must allow women to wear comfortable footwear, and cannot force them to wear shoes higher than 1 inch heel.
  • The labour department has ordered the companies to provide the women employees with seats or rest periods, to reduce their time standing. Also it said that women can wear heels if they prefer to.

Tanjusay said the practice of ordering women to wear high heels is widespread in the Philippines. It is specially high in industries such as retail, restaurants, airlines and hotels.

Telegraph reported, The ban came after four women – who work as part-time sales assistants – complained to the union that they had suffered pain from wearing high heels for long hours. “They asked us to help because they are afraid of reprisals and worried they will be dismissed from their jobs,” said Tanjusay, who added that he hoped the ban would encourage other countries to follow.

Moreover, this order is a victory against sexism and the idea that women look taller and sexier in high heels. It will greatly aid the health of these women, who could face major health issues in the future.

Pic Credit: SHEfinds

Also Read: Choosing Fashion over Comfort: Do Heels Make us Feel Taller?

Navina Singh is an Intern with SheThePeople.TV 

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