Posted by: tommecrow | August 25, 2016

Why girls and women should wear what they want to the beach

In a world where over 372,000 people drown each year, it seems strange some areas in France have banned the burkini from beaches. Denim jeans and a woolly jumper, comparatively unsafe swimwear, have not been banned.

In areas where Muslim women and girls have traditionally faced cultural and social obstacles to learning life saving swimming skills, the burkini, along with new swimming teaching programmes, have provided safer opportunities to learn such skills.

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Girls in Zanzibar learning to swim with the Aquatic Survival Programme (RNLI/Panje) 

Learning to swim is an important life skill and being able to enjoy the water and natural environment is not a pleasure that should be restricted to a select few, wearing the clothing which a culture or country deems ‘appropriate’.

The burkini has been banned for being an item associated with ‘terror’, but it was designed to be “worn by all women no matter what race, religion, shape, colour and for what ever reason” – Aheda Zanetti, designer of the burkini.

Women and girls should be able to learn to swim, and go to the beach, and wear what they want in the water, burkini, bikini, or no bikini.

 

Written by Tom Mecrow and Hannah Marsden


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