When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

LES ECHOS

*Hair France* Grounds Male Flight Attendant For Sporting Cornrows

An Air France male flight attendant is suing the airline for discrimination and violation of his dignity. The cause of turbulence: his cornrows, which the aviation company believes are undermining its glamorous image.

(Mathias.Pastwa)
(Mathias.Pastwa)

PARIS - In Air France's eyes, Aboubakar Traoré has been having a bad hair day for the past 10 years, ever since he started sporting cornrows - a hairstyle his employer doesn't think is suitable. Traoré works for Air France as a flight attendant; and according to chapter 50 of the official flight attendants manual: stewards need to sport "a classical hairstyle, not too voluminous; hair length should be just above the shirt collar."

Cornrows and other braids on women are not forbidden.

Mr. Traoré"s superiors urged him to cut his hair. The 37-years-old complied, but kept his cornrows. From then on, he endured endless criticism and "increasing pressure," he says. Between August 2005 and March 2007, suffering from a nervous breakdown, he went on an extended sick leave.

When he came back to work, looking for a solution that would be acceptable for his employer, Traoré decided to wear a wig – "ridiculous," he admits – to hide his cornrows. His wig-wearing days didn't last long, as he found the hairpiece just too uncomfortable. He tried, unsuccessfully, to reach an agreement with the company. "I'm not saying Air France is racist but the company has ambiguous positions." The wig stayed on.

According to the airline, this is a "non-issue." The company asserts that is it has always been very open-minded, but is very clear on the fact that "the staff has to wear a standardized uniform to match the corporate image of the company."

Hairpiece for hair peace

In 2009, Traoré asked for the intervention of the High Authority for the Struggle Against Discrimination and for Equality (HALDE). In April 2011, the institution decided in his favor and considered "the Air France rules to relay a stereotyped image of men."

"Mr. Traoré"s hairstyle is clear-cut and well-groomed. There's no eccentricity in it," the institution added.

Since January, when he stopped wearing his wig, Traoré has been grounded by the airline. Traoré is suing Air France for discrimination and violation of his dignity.

Read more from Le Monde in French. Original article by Faïza Zerouala.

Photo - Mathias.Pastwa

*This a digest item, not a direct translation

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Dottoré!

Sowing The Seeds Of Paranoia

"They must be dumping garbage — good, it makes for good fertilizer!"

"Slowly, we were the only ones left"

Mariateresa Fichele

"Dottoré, I know a lot of flags, and let me tell you why. I grew up in the province of Caserta, and — like everybody in those days — my parents owned a piece of land, and they would take me with them to farm it.

I remember there were other kids in the fields around us. But then, slowly, we were the only ones left because everybody was selling the land, making a lot of money off of it too.

Papà wouldn't listen to reason and he kept the land. But in the meantime, instead of farmers, trucks began to arrive. Many many trucks, unloading thousands of barrels and burying them into the ground.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ