SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's human rights commission has recommended that the country's second-largest airline allow its female cabin crew to wear trousers, adding weight to a union campaign to ease strict dress rules.
The commission's ruling made Monday is non-binding but represents a small victory for the 3,400 female flight attendants at Asiana Airlines Inc. Since last year, they have been asking the company to relax appearance requirements that range from how many hairpins they can wear to the length of their earrings.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea said Asiana Airlines required a uniform appearance through very specific rules on hairstyle and makeup, indicating that the company assumed women's role to be that of a service provider.
Asiana said that its skirt-only policy was meant to emphasize the company's brand of "high-class Korean beauty." It said aesthetic elements such as the appearance of female flight attendants are part of its service for passengers and an essential tool for staying competitive.
Still, the company said it will review trouser options in future uniform redesigns. It did not say when the next one is scheduled.