Ombudsman: Burkinis should be allowed in public pools

The modesty swimming attire is used by some Muslim women, and it would be discriminatory to deny them entry to a public pool.

File picture of woman wearing burkini in a swimming pool / Credit: iStock

Finland should allow the use of burkinis – body-covering bathing suits used by some Muslim women – in all public swimming pools.

That’s the recommendation from Finland’s Non-Discrimination Ombudsman Kirsi PimiƤ who says that banning them would constitute gender and religious-based discrimination.

PimiƤ says she’s aware of several cases where women have been turned away from public swimming pools when wearing burkinis, and suggests there should be more private shower places to promote equality for all segments of society.

“From the point of the equality, it is problematic that not all public swimming pools are permitting burkinis. Such a ban can mean discrimination based on a person’s religion and gender” she says.

The Finnish Indoor Swimming Pool and Spa Association UKTY and other organisations already said in 2017 that burkinis should be allowed inside their member’s facilities.