Sky high heels: El Al under fire over high heels rule for female flight attendants
The head of Israel's women's organization has issued a veiled threat to initiate legal proceedings against the airline. (Shutterstock)
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The president of the women's organization Na'amat slammed Israel's national airline El Al on Sunday after the company released a directive requiring its female flight attendants to wear high heeled shoes on the job.
Dozens of El Al female flight attendants signed a petition in recent days against the airline's decision requiring them to wear high-heeled shoes until takeoff. Prior to the airline's new directive, a female flight attendant was only required to wear high heeled shoes up until when she boarded the aircraft.
Once on board the flight attendants commonly change into more comfortable flat footwear.
Na'amat's President Galia Wolloch wrote a letter to El Al CEO David Maimon on Sunday in which she called on him to cancel the heels requirement.
"According to what I understand, the new company directive determined that heels are part of what is defined as presentable appearance for a female flight attendant. I don't believe that heels are necessary for the presentable appearance of a woman and certainly not for a flight attendant who is required as part of her job to stand for long periods of time," Wolloch wrote.
In what could be construed as a veiled threat to initiate legal proceedings against the airline, Wolloch added that if the directive was not changed, Na'amat would explore other avenues to challenge the heel rule due to its possible offense of the principle of gender equality.
In a separate statement Wolloch called the rule outrageous and angering.
"The CEO of the company should remember that the flight attendants duties and their ability to provide service have no connection to their clothing, she wrote.
"I invite Mr. Maimon to walk in the flight attendants shoes, and try to walk in heels for just one hour before he forces them to harm their health for no good reason," she added.
On Saturday, Zionist Union MK Shelly Yachimovich expressed her outrage over the heels rule and similarly called on male El Al executives to wear heels.
"Shame on El Al that is making its female flight attendants wear heels until boarding is complete. My suggestion: all the male El Al managers put on heels for work. Let's see them," she wrote on Twitter.
The flight attendants who signed the petition expressed safety concerns over the new heels rule and said that the shoes are uncomfortable and they make their job more difficult.
Globes contributed to this report.
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