Hardworking housewives, it seems, are Japan’s hottest commodity.
Companies in service-based industries are going all out in trying to recruit them, according to Quartz.
FamilyMart, a chain of convenience stores, plans to hire 100,000 housewives for part-time jobs in the next two years.
“Supporting hardworking housewives!” proclaims the jobs page of Pronto, a chain of restaurants and cafes.
And a new slogan by McDonald’s that translates roughly to “McDonald’s, no problem” promises housewives flexible hours and growth opportunities. The burger chain is even offering housewives trial work periods, during which they can determine if they’re interested in flipping burgers and scooping fries. “Housewives are a valued labor force because they are very hospitable and are very conscious of cleanliness in our restaurants,” said a McDonald’s HR exec.
The clamor for such workers makes sense, considering Japan’s labor market is tighter than it’s been in 40 years, due to an aging population and a lack of foreign workers. And employers’ appeal to housewives reflects a years-long effort by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to increase the number of women in Japan’s workforce. But at the same time, the nature of the jobs being advertised—part-time, hourly work—underscores the problem that’s tainted the top-line success of Abe’s plan: Women are still being sidelined to low-paying, irregular positions.
U.K. MP Tulip Siddiq is calling for a change to British passport regulations after she was caught up in customs with her daughter, who has a different last name. Siddiq was only released after her husband arrived. She says children’s passports should display the last names of both parents so the problem—likely to become more common due to more women keeping their maiden names—doesn’t affect other mothers.
The fallout continues for L’Oréal Paris U.K. after it fired transgender model Munroe Bergdorf for a Facebook post in which she deemed all white people racist. She argues that she was highlighting the issue of systemic racism in the wake of Charlottesville. In solidarity with Bergdorf, U.K. radio host Clara Amfo, who was featured in a campaign similar to Bergdorf’s last year, says she’s breaking off her ties with the cosmetics maker. “If [Bergdorf]’s not ‘worth it’ anymore,” Amfo said, “I guess I’m not either.”
Worth a thousand words
The New York Times examines the evolution of women over the past decade through the lens of stock photos. The most purchased Getty image of “woman” in 2007 was a naked woman in a towel. This year, it’s a female hiker on a mountain top. The photograph “feels like an image about power, about freedom, about trusting oneself,” says Pam Grossman, director of visual trends at Getty. “Who cares what you even look like? Let’s focus on what you’re doing.”
The Atlantic looks at the rise of comedian Tiffany Haddish, whose ascent to stardom in recent years led to her role in the hit Girls Trip this summer. Haddish, whose comedy taps into her tragic upbringing and time she spent in foster care, shows how a black female comedian can make it these days—while at the same time exposing the systemic challenges that remain.
She was an American girl
All four women playing in the U.S. Open semifinals last night—Venus Williams, Sloane Stevens, Madison Keys, and CoCo Vandeweghe—were American. The last time that happened at a Grand Slam was at Wimbledon in 1985. The last time it occurred at the U.S. Open was in 1981. Stevens beat Williams, and Keys defeated Vandeweghe last night. The winners will meet in the final on Saturday.
Shock to the system
The murder of prominent Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was critical of rightwing Hindu nationalist politics, is sending shockwaves through the nation. Other journalists have protested her killing as an attack on the free press, while rival political factions are fighting over who’s to blame.
New Zealand Rugby launched a “respect and responsibility” review of player behavior last year after a series of scandals—including the assault of a woman hired to strip at a team party. The inquiry identified prominent problems with the use of alcohol, sexist attitudes towards women, and a sense of entitlement among some players, all of which, the review said, “no longer reflected contemporary values and expected behaviors.”
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