VIDEO: Mutiny Brewing Within Air France Over Forcing Female Staff to Wear Headscarves
As Air France prepares to resume service between Paris and Tehran as part of the normalization of relations following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, unintended consequences of President Obama’s pet project have created an uproar and threatened union action for what is seen as an affront both to the dignity of French women and to French society.
The international airline has ordered female flight attendants to wear headscarves in the Iranian capital to comply with the strict dress codes for women in the Muslim theocracy in place since the revolution in 1979.
“Tolerance and respect for the customs of the countries we serve are part of the values of our company,” an Air France spokesman said.
The attendants have also been instructed to wear long jackets and pants on Tehran flights in a bow to Muslim views about women in public.
But while Iranian women are forced to cover their hair or face by law, France is a secular society and has banned headscarves in public schools and offices, as well as making it illegal to wear the full-face veil in public.
Françoise Redolfi, head of the French flight crew union, said female members are adamant that wearing headscarves is “out of the question and an insult to their dignity. It is not our role to pass judgment on the wearing of headscarves or veils in Iran, but the flights should be made voluntary.”
The union is demanding that Air France be prohibited from imposing penalties, consequences, or fines on female flight attendants who choose not to work on the Paris to Tehran route.
Another controversy involving obligatory Muslim coverings drew headlines recently when the French Minister for Women’s Rights and Families compared women who wear Muslim veils and headscarves to “Negroes who supported slavery.”