Headscarf ban extended to social services

The headscarf ban in Antwerp is now being extended to personnel in the social services (OCMW). Two employment counselors were given a choice to either remove their headscarves, or move to the complaints department, where citizens won’t see them. One woman refused to remove her headscarf and was transferred to the complaints department, while the other woman is still thinking things over. Last year, Antwerp’s city council approved a controversial uniform code; civil servants who come into contact with residents may not wear external symbols of life outlook convictions. OCMW chairperson Monica De Coninck justified the decision, while OCMW councilor Dirk Geldof fears that extending the headscarf ban to the OCMW would create a dangerous precedent.