Taiwan: wearing pants among stewardesses creates tensions

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Taiwanese lawmakers have threatened to withhold some funding from the country’s aviation regulator until it takes steps to force local airlines to allow flight attendant to wear pants as part of their uniform.

Until now, Taiwan’s major airlines, EVA Air, China Airlines and Starlux Airlinesrequired female crew members to wear skirts or dresses, as well as high heels and rejected calls for more uniform options. “gender neutral”like pants. “Although it is very common to see female flight attendants in European airlines wearing pants, (most) Taiwanese airlines seem very backward because they continue to require women to wear skirts and make-up “New Power Party lawmaker Chiu Hsien-chih told the English-language Taipei Times. “Taiwan recognizes same-sex marriage and is generally regarded by the international community as a country that values ​​gender equality. We need to be just as progressive in this regard”Chiu continued.

Taiwan Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) would have required local airlines to offer a wider range of uniforms for female cabin crew, but lawmakers called on the agency to take a much tougher stance. In response to the inaction, the CAA has had 10% of its budget for general administrative expenses withheld until it submits a written report on how it will force airlines to adjust their employment rules to comply with the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination towards women.

The reason Taiwanese airlines lag behind other countries in gender equality is because they view their flight attendants as a product, Lee Ying, president of the EVA Air Union, said in August. . Although people now pay more attention togender equality In the workplace, regulations must be enforceable to prevent companies from circumventing them, she added. Taiwan leads Asia in gender equality, but its airlines lag far behind its international peers, said the union’s general secretary, Chou Sheng-kai.

The only airline operating in Taiwan that currently allows female cabin crew to wear pants is Tigerair Taiwanbut the CAA says it will take time for other airlines to follow suit because it takes time to design a new uniform. EVA Air didn’t even employ male cabin crew until 2019 and that only happened as part of a deal with the flight attendants’ union following a crippling strike. Up to 70% of past applicants were men, but these applications were immediately rejected due to the applicant’s gender.

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John Walker Avatar