Work-life balance is a struggle in Japan. Unethical work culture norms (long work hours and maternity harassment) and strict, traditional gender roles are just some of the reasons that prolong the problem. The high officials of Japan are not standing for it. In an effort to spread the importance of domestic balance, three male governors go about a day working, doing chores and bearing the physical weight of a pregnant women. You don’t know what it’s like until you walk a mile in their shoes, so, hey, this is a start.

As part of the “Kyushu / Yamaguchi Work-Life Balance campaign”, the governors of Saga, Miyazaki, and Yamaguchi prefecture (located in southern Japan) are seen in the video performing daily activities while wearing a jacket that weighs 16 lbs., the approximate weight a women carries in her 7th month of pregnancy. It’s a pregnancy experiment that had 96.7 percent of men who participated in the experiment saying: “Men also need to be responsible for household chores and child-rearing.”

In the video, Saga prefecture’s Governor Yoshinori Yamaguchi learned it’s no easy task to even go grocery shopping. When he simply bent down to pick up a sauce bottle and got back up, he looked surprised with the new difficulty. As he walked the long way home with hands full of grocery and made his way up the stairs, he grew tired. “I’ve experienced many things since I’ve become governor, but experiencing what pregnant women go through had a real impact on me,” Yamaguchi said.

Watch the "Work Life Balance Movie” below and let us know: Do you think all fathers should go through this pregnancy experiment as well?

Photo credit: Kyushu / Yamaguchi Work-Life Balance website


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