Under the new rules voted in this week by the city authorities, women should wear “a one-piece or two-piece swimsuit,” local La Tribune de Genève newspaper reported. Women who wish to swim in Geneva’s pools have to wear swimsuits that should come down “no lower than knee level and keeps arms bare” and shouldn’t be “a swim skirt or a dress,” the legislation said.
The motion was carried largely by the right-wing members of the city government despite resistance from the former socialist mayor of Geneva Sami Kanaan, who argued against the motion. Kanaan claimed that the move was a “denial of an open, multicultural and liberal Geneva.”
The proponents of the new regulation say that it merely clarifies previous regulations that looked to arguments of hygiene in order to ban various garments from the swimming pools. They argued that the previous rules could allow women to go topless in the swimming pools or wear a Burkini and that the new rules were keeping in the spirit of the existing rules.
The rules were first adopted in September. Two months after that, Félicien Mazzola, a spokesperson for Geneva’s Culture and Sport Department, commented to La Tribune that hygiene was the main reason behind it.
“There was only one case of burkini in the city’s pools. We have more trouble with teenagers who come to swim in shorts,” Mazzola said.
The Burkini is full-body swimwear used by some Muslim women to comply with Islamic interpretations of “modesty,” especially in public.
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