Reasonable accommodation or cultural acquiescence? “Now fire service introduces hijab headscarves for Muslim workers,” by Jaya Narain for the Daily Mail, March 31:
Pop into the firestation and the chances are there’d be a group of reassuringly burly men in there waiting for the call out, with uniforms and firefighting suits tailored for their use alone.
The one or two women among them would have to make do with ill-fitting adaptations of the men’s outfits while the handful of Muslim women in the service would be wearing their own head scarfs.
But, with the fire service anxious to attract recruits of all sexes and backgrounds, it was decided that something had to be done.
So yesterday the results were uneveiled, including full-length skirts, hijab headscarfs and long- sleeved shirts for Muslim women recruits.
The hope is that the uniforms, designed for wearing round the station and for outings such as school trips, will be smarter and better fitting for every firefighter – even the men.[…]
Jagtar Singh, spokesman for the Asian Fire Service Association, said: ‘We are pleased to note that the fire service is now taking seriously the issues of culture and religious belief when purchasing corporate and protective clothing for firefighters.’