Officials in South Korea have withdrawn recently published guidelines for pregnant women, following a backlash over their use of outdated sexist stereotypes.
Seoul city government’s Pregnancy and Childbirth Information Center published the guidelines on its website on January 5, including instructions to “prepare instant foods like curry, black bean paste and soup, so the husband, who’s unfamiliar with cooking, will be able to conveniently use them.”
The guidelines also said pregnant women “should prepare undergarments, socks, shirts, handkerchiefs and outers in the drawer for the husband and children to wear for 3 to 7 days while you’re at the hospital,” and advised buying a hairband “so that you don’t look disheveled, as you won’t able to wash your hair for a while.”
While some parts of the guidelines remain online, the points that came in for criticism were recently deleted. However, screenshots of the original version continue to circulate on social media.
The advice also suggested women lose weight by performing household chores such as washing dishes and cleaning.
“Extending your hand forward when wiping the floor will help with stretching the back, shoulder and arm muscles,” read the guidelines.
“Hang out clothes that you wore before getting married or small-sized clothes that you’d like to wear after giving birth and look at them when you want to eat more than necessary or want to skip workout,” they continued.
Shocked South Koreans started a petition asking that the official responsible for the post be punished and make a public apology.
Others expressed their outrage on Twitter.
“The person who wrote that, the one who revised it, even the Seoul city manager who posted it. They’re all mad,” wrote one.
“Seoul city’s guideline for pregnant women is disgusting,” wrote another. “The fact that they’re trying to sacrifice women is as clear as a glass marble.”
“It’s not even any individual that posted it, it’s Seoul city’s Pregnancy and Childbirth Information Center… I wonder what they think of women and pregnant women,” wrote a third. “I hate this country.”
Seoul city government declined to comment when contacted by CNN.