Dress code and appearance requirements for female flight attendants are discriminatory and lag a decade behind other nations, the Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union said yesterday, as it petitioned the National Human Rights Commission to set clear rules to prevent gender discrimination in the airline industry.
China Airlines, EVA Airways and Starlux Airlines all require female flight attendants to wear pencil skirts, and have rules on makeup and grooming, union executive director Lin Yu-chia (林昱嘉) said while delivering the petition to the commission in Taipei.
Attendants can wear pants during annual safety training, but must wear pencil skirts, high heels and stockings when on duty, which would hamper their ability to respond in an emergency, Lin said.
Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei Times
Gender-neutral uniform options are the norm globally and should be mandated by the commission, she added.
Additionally, although most flight attendants at EVA and China Airlines are women, many return from maternity leave to find that their seniority or performance gains have restarted, they have difficulty getting promotions and some are assigned unreasonable shifts, Lin said.
This unfair treatment makes many flight attendants hesitant to apply for maternity leave, she said.
The reason Taiwanese airlines lag behind other nations in gender equality is because they look at their flight attendants as a product, EVA Air Union chairperson Lee Ying (李瀅) said, adding that the designer who redesigned China Airlines’ uniforms even said they should “be evocative.”
Although people are now paying more attention to gender equality in the workplace, regulations need to be enforceable to keep companies from circumventing them, she added.
The Executive Yuan likes to say that Taiwan leads Asia on gender equality, but its airlines lag far behind its international peers, union secretary-general Chou Sheng-kai (周聖凱) said.
A decade ago, in 2013, Asiana Airlines was the last airline in South Korea to still require its female flight attendants to wear skirts, Chou said.
That same year, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea declared the rule discriminatory, requiring the airline to provide gender-neutral options, he said.
Yet all of Taiwan’s major airlines still maintain this requirement, which is not only highly discriminatory, but runs counter to the spirit of the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, he added.
The Executive Yuan in 2014 determined a similar rule among police to be discriminatory, he said, calling on the commission to do the same for flight attendants.
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
Taiwanese who have recently traveled to China for tourism, to visit friends or relatives or for business reasons have been interrogated, detained and faced other forms of unreasonable treatment from Chinese officials, a source said on Sunday. Among them was a Taiwanese who was detained for eight hours at an airport in China due to their research, which is related to religion, while others have had their travel documents for China canceled for a number of reasons, the source said. In July, China expanded the scope of its counterespionage law, and recently announced a draft amendment to the law on the protection