France bans burkini swimwear
France's highest administrative court ruled yesterday that burkini swimwear should be allowed on public swimming pools for religious reasons, arguing that it violates the government's principle of neutrality over religion.
The burqa-covered head-to-toe ankle cover has repeatedly sparked strong political debate in France.
Some Muslim women considered this decision unfair.
The city of Grenoble, led by a mayor from the Green Party, voted last month to allow women to wear burqas in public swimming pools following a campaign by local activists. The city also voted to allow women to swim topless, as part of a wider relaxation.
But the Court overturned this decision, arguing that it was contrary to the secular principles of France.
France has always attached importance to swimming pool clothing. Dress rules in public swimming pools in France are strict, for hygienic reasons.