Regional education office under fire for planning class on make-up for nutritionists

Regional education office under fire for planning class on make-up for nutritionists

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By Kwon Mee-yoo

A provincial education office has canceled a planned class on make-up for school nutritionists, after being criticized for causing gender discrimination against and sexual objectification of nutritionists, who are mostly women.

The North Gyeongsang Provincial Office of Education sent out a notice, Thursday, announcing a training session for some 820 school nutritionists and nutrition teachers in the province on July 29.

During the three-and-a-half-hour program, 90 minutes were allotted to a lesson on applying make-up “for improving the satisfaction level of the school meal service.”

School nutritionists raised questions over the topic of the training program, which they said could be interpreted as claiming that nutritionists should have to beautify themselves to enhance the satisfaction of food being served to students and teachers. The work of certified school nutritionists in Korea involves planning and managing school menus, as well as providing education on nutrition.

The North Gyeongsang provincial branch of the progressive Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union released a statement, Friday, accusing the provincial education office’s training program of discriminating against female nutritionists and nutrition teachers.

“The education office lacks gender sensitivity and offering a class on applying make-up for nutritionists is totally anachronistic,” the union said in the statement.

As backlash grew, the provincial education office canceled the program.

“We tried to offer the class on applying make-up as part of a general culture program, because many nutritionists are suffering from skin irritation due to having to wear masks for a long time. But the class has caused misunderstandings. We are sorry about it,” an official at the education office said.

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