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Burkinis to help Muslim Swedes take the plunge

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Burkinis to help Muslim Swedes take the plunge
09:45 CET+01:00
The small Swedish town of Emmaboda has vetoed a petition to introduce women-only hours at the municipal swimming pool, and instead wants to start selling burkinis to its observant Muslim female bathers.

The municipal leisure committee had received a citizens petition asking if the swimming pool could have a separate time slot for women, in order to facilitate for residents who chose for religious reasons to not show their bodies to members of the opposite sex.

The local politicians, however, decided to decline the petition, reports regional newspaper Östran.

Instead, they want to buy in burkinis - swimsuits that cover all parts of a woman's body - which their observant Muslim swimmers could buy before taking the plunge.

"Women can then go swimming but still be covered," the committee's minutes read.

The municipality's executive committee will now look at the proposal, reported Östran.

Different attitudes to nudity – from the ultra-conservative to the extremely liberal –have posed problems for swimming pool managers in Sweden before.

READ ALSO: 'Swedish bathers in naked shower outcry'

In 2011, bathers in Skärholmen, southern Stockholm, said certain bathers' reluctance to show themselves naked meant they did not shower before entering the pool, in breach of hygiene regulations at most Swedish pools.

At the other end of the scale, a feminist network called 'Bara Bröst' has campaigned for women to be allowed to swim topless in Sweden's public pools. They argue that the requirement for women - but not men - to cover their chests is sexist.

TT/The Local/at

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