- A labour court in Sweden has ordered a company to compensate a 24-year-old lady with a sum of 40,000 kronor (about R63 504,00)
- The lady was said said to have been discriminated against for refusing a handshake
- She refused a handshake on religious grounds when she went for a job interview
A labour court in Sweden has awarded a Muslim lady in the country financial compensation after she was discriminated against in a job interview for refusing to shake hands on religious grounds.
The New York Times reports that the 24-year-old lady identified as Farah Alhajeh, went for an interview for a job as an interpreter at Sematix, a language services company in the city of Uppsala, north of Stockholm, in May 2016.
Briefly.co.za gathers that Alhajeh said she placed her hand on her heart as a greeting and smiled when the person conducting the interview offered to introduce her to a male boss.
Alhajeh, who was shown to the elevator, said she avoided physical contact because she was a Muslim.
She said: “It was like a punch in the face. It was the first time someone reacted, and it was a really harsh reaction.”
The court ruled that the company had discriminated against Alhajeh, and ordered it to pay 40,000 kronor (about R63 504,00) in compensation.
According to a statement by the court, Alhajeh “adheres to an interpretation of Islam that prohibits handshaking with the opposite gender unless it is a close member of the family.”
It said: "Woman’s refusal to shake hands with people of the opposite gender is a religious manifestation that is protected under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Talking about gender equality, Alhajeh said: “We live in a society where you have to treat women and men the same. I know that because I am Swedish. I have to practice my religion in a Swedish way that’s acceptable."
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