File photo of Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui. Photograph:( Reuters )
'Men can snap up things they are told (to buy) and go, so I think it's good that they go shopping, avoiding human contact,' the Osaka mayor also said
The mayor of Japan's Osaka came under fire after he made sexist comments amid coronavirus pandemic. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Ichiro Matsui said that women should refrain from grocery shopping as they are "indecisive" and "take a long time".
Men should be entrusted with grocery runs because women "take a long time as they browse around and hesitate about this and that," local media quoted the 56-year-old leader as saying.
"Men can snap up things they are told (to buy) and go, so I think it's good that they go shopping, avoiding human contact," the Osaka mayor also said.
During the media interaction, Matsui was challenged by a reporter after his statement to which he responded saying that his remarks might be "viewed as out-of-touch, but said they were true in his family."
The statement sparked massive outrage on social media, as people condemned the Japanese leader's statement and accused him of being "disrespectful to women and men."
Another user on social media said that his comment was "full of prejudice against women". "There are indecisive men and nimble and sharp women," the user added.
Japan is under a state of emergency over the pandemic, and residents in some areas have been asked to shop less frequently and only send one family member out to get supplies to limit contact.
Despite its highly educated female population, Japan ranked 121 out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum's 2020 gender gap index, primarily because of its poor showing in political representation.
Traditional gender roles are still deeply rooted in Japanese society and women are often still expected to take primary responsibility for childcare and domestic chores, even while holding down professional jobs.
(With inputs from agencies)