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英語記事に慣れる「サクっと読む英文」

2017.3.7

Can employers make women wear high heels?

Do you have a dress code at work? Read the article to find out why some British women are upset about their company dress codes.
あなたの職場に服装規定はありますか?なぜイギリスの女性たちが会社の服装規定に不満を募らせているのか、記事を読んでみましょう。

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British law requires that men and women be treated equally in the workplace. But many women think that they are being forced to follow a dress code that is far stricter than the one men have to follow.

Nicola Thorp worked for a company that required women to wear high heels at all times. One day, she refused to wear heels because they made her feet hurt. Her boss sent her home without pay. Thorp thought that was unfair, so she started a petition on a government website. The petition demanded that the government do something about unfair dress codes.

Many companies in the UK require women to wear high heels, even if they have to be on their feet all day. Many women do not like this because it makes their feet hurt. Doctors have said that wearing heels for long periods of time can cause serious foot and ankle problems.

There are other rules in company dress codes that many women find sexist. An article by The Guardian showed some of the strict regulations that one British company made its female employees follow. Women were expected to wear make-up at all times, but only certain colors of make-up or nail polish were allowed. Women also were required to wear tights, but only certain colors or styles. The company even said what kinds of haircuts women could have.

Thorp’s petition against dress codes was signed by over 150,000 people in the UK. Because the petition was so popular, the British government asked women to send in examples of dress codes they thought were sexist. The responses were included in a government report about the dress codes. There were many responses about being forced to wear high heels, even though they caused serious foot pain. Other women complained about being forced to dress in revealing clothing, or even make their hair blonde. One woman said that her boss wanted her to dress “sexy”.

Many women feel that this is unfair because men are not expected to follow the same rules. They believe that these dress codes make women feel that their appearance is more important than their ability to do their jobs.

Because of the report, the British government is now considering making changes to laws about sexism at work. Helen Jones, who is in charge of the government’s petition committee, said in an interview with The Guardian that “the government must now accept that it has a responsibility to ensure that the law works in practice as well as in theory”.

The British Parliament is expected to debate the issue later in 2017.

British law says that men and women should be treated the same at work. But many women think that they are not being treated the same. They say that rules about what employees have to wear are not fair to women.

Nicola Thorp worked for a company that made women wear high heels at all times. One day, she didn’t wear heels because they made her feet hurt. Her boss sent her home without pay. Thorp thought that was wrong. She started a petition on a government website. She wanted the government do something. She didn’t like the rules about what clothes women have to wear at work.

Many companies in the UK make women wear high heels. They make women wear heels even if they have to be on their feet all day. Many women do not like this. They say that it makes their feet hurt. Doctors have said that wearing heels for a long time can cause very bad foot problems.

Companies have other rules about what women wear at work. Many companies make women wear clothes they don’t want to wear. An article by The Guardian showed some of the rules that one British company made women follow. Women had to wear make-up all day, and only some colors of make-up were OK. Women also had to wear tights. The company even said what kinds of haircuts women could have.

Thorp’s petition against these rules was signed by over 150,000 people in the UK. Because the petition was so popular, the British government asked women to show them rules that the women thought were wrong. The responses were put in a government report. There were many responses. Many women said they had to wear high heels, even though they made their feet hurt. Other women said they had to wear clothes that made them look “sexy”. Many women said that this should be against the law. They said that men don’t have to follow the same rules.

Because of the report, the British government is now thinking about changing laws about how women are treated at work. Helen Jones, who is in charge of the government’s petition committee, said in an interview with The Guardian that “the government must now accept that it has a responsibility to ensure that the law works in practice as well as in theory”.

The British Parliament will talk about the problem later in 2017.

キーフレーズ

require ~を義務付ける

法律などであることを義務付ける、ある目的のために何かを必要とするという意味です。

例:My company requires us to sign in when we arrive.
(私の会社は、出勤後にサインインすることを義務付けている。)

※本文中の “British law requires that men and women be treated equally in the workplace” では、“men and women” の後に “are” ではなく “be” が使われていますが、これは “require”、”suggest”、“demand” などの要求・提案・依頼・希望などを表す動詞が主節で使われている場合、目的語となるthat節の動詞には原型が用いられるためです。
refuse 拒む
petition 請願(書)
demand 要求する
even if たとえ~だとしても

このフレーズは、ある仮定の事柄が成立しても、その後の結果が変わらないことを意味する表現です。本文中では、たとえ女性が一日中立ち仕事をしなければいけないとしても、高いヒールの靴を履くことを義務付けられるという意味で使われています。

例:I’ll go for a jog even if it’s raining.
(たとえ雨が降ったとしても私はジョギングに行く。)

sexist 性差別的な
send in 送付する、提出する

通常このフレーズは何かを物理的にどこかの場所に送る、という意味で使われますが、インターネット上で送るという意味でも使うことができます。

例:I sent in my cover letter and résumé.
(私はカバーレターと履歴書を送付した。)
類義語: submit, deliver, post

complain 訴える
revealing clothing (肌を)露出する服
appearance 外見、容姿
in charge of ~を担当(管理)して

あることの担当(管理)者であることや、責任を負う立場であることを意味します。

例:They put me in charge of organizing the office party.
(社内パーティーの企画を任された。)

ensure ~を確かにする
work in practice 実際に機能する

こちらのコーナーでは、Gabaマンツーマン英会話の受講者様向け学習コンテンツ、「myRead」で取り上げた記事についてご紹介しています。日本語訳については、本記事における意味になりますのでご了承ください。
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