Posts Tagged 'saudi arabia'

BMI Airlines Muslim Dress Code

Do I look inferior in this plane?

Do I look inferior in this plane?

I have just sent a very angry letter to bmi.

I was appalled to read in the Sunday Times that bmi sacked a stewardess for refusing to adhere to frankly misogynistic requirements for the service to Saudi Arabia. She (and all female employees on the service) was to wear an abaya (black robe) and follow behind all male employees – the fact that they felt the need to add “regardless of rank” seems additionally ridiculous.

It is one thing to show respect for culture, it is quite another to ask employees to obey the tenets of a religion not their own (or any religion), particularly when the practices in question are based on the supposition that women are inferior and their bodies capable of inciting aggressive behaviour in men.

As the story states, it is by no means expected or even suggested that Western women travelling in the country wear anything beyond ‘conservative dress’ or walk behind men. How dare they even consider such debasing requirements? How dare they fire someone for refusing?

Whoever created this policy should be heartily ashamed for creating such asinine and discriminatory rules.

What’s even more upsetting is that an ‘employment tribunal’ reviewing the case decided that “there was no evidence that women would regard BMI’s requirements on wearing the abaya, or walking behind men, as “placing them under any disadvantage”.”

What disadvantage could there be in dressing to be invisible and walking around like an inferior?

This is absolutely horrifying and terribly depressing, that a large company in a secular, liberated country that recognizes equality between the sexes would determine that the opinion of a few hardcore Muslim customers is more important than the dignity of their staff and the basic principles of their own country.

I highly recommend boycotting this airline.

image from flightline.co.uk