Flight Attendants: No Way We're Wearing Headscarves

Air France attendants refuse order for Iran flights
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2016 2:06 PM CDT
Flight Attendants: No Way We're Wearing Headscarves
Air France planes are photographed through a window at Charles de Gaulle Paris airport.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

Female flight attendants on Air France aren't too thrilled with being told to wear headscarves when they disembark in Tehran, the Telegraph reports. Their union is opposing the order, slated to kick in April 17, when the airline resumes flights to Iran's capital after an eight-year hiatus. "It is not our role to pass judgment on the wearing of headscarves or veils in Iran," says Flore Arrighi, leader of the UNAC flight crews' union. "What we are denouncing is that it is being made compulsory. Stewardesses must be given the right to refuse these flights." Another union leader, Françoise Redolfi, calls the headscarf "an ostentatious religious symbol" and says "many female flight attendants" consider the obligation "out of the question," the Guardian reports.

Air France says it's only reinstating rules that existed before 2008, when the airline stopped flying to Iran over concerns about the country's nuclear program (flights will resume thanks to the Iran nuclear deal). Also, flight attendants aren't required to wear headscarves during flights—only when they leave the plane. "Iranian law requires the wearing of a veil covering the hair in public places for all women present on its territory," says the airline. The attendants are OK with wearing headscarves in public, says a union rep, but not when donning the uniform. Female attendants for Air France are also being told to wear pants with a long jacket on Tehran flights (no skirts) and to not smoke publicly in Iran, while it seems male attendants can puff away in the open air, Mashable reports. (Two Muslim women argue that non-Muslims who wear hijabs as a sign of solidarity are misguided "do-gooders.")

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