British air stewardess sacked for refusing to wear an Islamic robe

April 27th, 2009 - 6:06 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr 27 (ANI): A British air stewardess was sacked for refusing to fly to Saudi Arabia after she was ordered to wear a traditional Islamic robe and walk behind male colleagues.

Lisa Ashton, who worked for BMI, was told that she was expected to wear in public in Saudi Arabia the abaya, a long black robe that leaves only the face uncovered.

She was also told that she should walk behind male colleagues irrespective of their rank, in order to conform with the social codes of the conservative country, The Telegraph reports.

Ashton was instructed to consider the abaya as part of her uniform when flying to Saudi Arabia, but she informed her managers that she considered the requirement discriminatory, and was worried that Saudi Arabia was not safe to travel to because of the danger of terrorist attacks.

“It’s not the law that you have to walk behind men in Saudi Arabia, or that you have to wear an abaya, and I’m not going to be treated as a second-class citizen,” Ashton said.

“It’s outrageous. I’m a proud Englishwoman and I don’t want these restrictions placed on myself,” she added.

Ashton, 37, had been working for the airline for nine years when they began their service to Saudi Arabia in 2005.

She was earning 15,000 pounds a year and flying to India, the Caribbean and the United States from her base in Manchester, but was horrified to read details of the regulations for staff working on the new route. (ANI)

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