Christian midwife suing hospital, says trousers against her religion

Liberal Conspiracy, by Sunny Hundal, 2 August 2011

A devout Christian woman who works as a midwife is suing a hospital because she says they forced her to wear trousers against her beliefs.

During the tribunal, Hannah Adewole cited a command in the Bible that women should not wear men's clothing.

Oh and this being the Daily Mail, there is obviously a Muslim angle.

She pointed out that Muslim midwives are allowed to vary official uniform with their own hijabs and tops.

As a midwife at City University London, Mrs Adewole was ordered to wear scrub trousers to prevent infection.

When she refused, she was moved from the labour ward to post-natal care until the end of her course.

She said: ‘I know that in many hospitals skirts and dresses are worn and this would not be so if there was any real risk of infection.

‘They would not listen and seemed angry at me. I was traumatised by the intolerance towards by religious needs.'

You can read the full story here (via @riazat_butt).

I have a strong feeling the case is being funded by the Christian Legal Centre – an offshoot of the hardline group Christian Concern for our Nation.

They've funded several legal cases such as this in the past.

Earlier this year the Observer reported on this outfit:

Questions have been asked about from where the centre – and its sister organisation, Christian Concern For Our Nation – obtain funding. Accounts show both organisations have little in the way of income.

Williams said all of the centre's work was done on a pro bono basis by committed Christian lawyers and that what money it had came in small donations from more than 30,000 people who received its regular email updates.

Close observers of the centre believe it is adopting the tactics of wealthy US evangelical groups, notably the powerful Alliance Defence Fund, which, through its Blackstone Legal Fellowship, trains an army of Christian lawyers to defend religious freedom "through strategy, training, funding and direct litigation”.

CCFON was also deeply involved in the campaign to reduce the legal abortion limit (they think abortion should be banned) and even ran a campaign against Aaqil Ahmed being head of religion at the BBC on the basis that he was a Muslim.

Update: It could also be the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship as @tonyhatfield ventured on Twitter. Rachel Danae Stalker thinks the case might be too conservative even for them.

Update 2: I've just spoken to the hospital in question; who said should be releasing a statement tomorrow once the case has been resolved.

They also added the Daily Mail story had a few inaccuracies but did not want to go into them yet

Please click on the link to see the original article

 

Christian midwife sues over order to wear trousers

Telegraph 3 Aug 2011

A Christian midwife is suing a hospital for making her wear trousers in the operating theatre – because she claims the Bible forbids women from putting on men's clothing.

Hannah Adewole claims she was banned from wearing scrub dresses in theatre, while Muslim midwives were allowed to wear their own hijabs and tops.

Mrs Adewole, 45, told an employment tribunal: "A Muslim midwife would not have been treated in such a disrespectful manner.” She is suing Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust for religious discrimination and harassment.

She cites a command in the Book of Deuteronomy that people should not wear clothing meant for the other gender. Mrs Adewole, who still works at Queen's Hospital in Romford, Essex, stands to win thousands of pounds in compensation if she succeeds in her claim.

Giving evidence, Mrs Adewole, of Hackney, east London, said: "Reading the Bible has always given me strength.

"I believe that the Bible is truth and that its words should be followed wholeheartedly.” She told the tribunal that she considers wearing dresses rather than trousers "a mandatory requirement in order to adhere to the scriptures”.

In the Bible, Deuteronomy 22:5 (New International Version) states: "A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does.”

As a midwife at City University London, Mrs Adewole said she was ordered to wear scrub trousers to prevent infection. When she refused, she was moved from the labour ward to post-natal care until the end of her course.

She said: "I know that in many hospitals skirts and dresses are worn and this would not be so if there was any real risk of infection.

"They would not listen and seemed angry at me. I was traumatised by the intolerance towards my religious needs.”

Mrs Adewole started work as a £24,000-a-year midwife at Queen's in March 2008. She alleges that she was assured at interview that her uniform demands would be accommodated.

For many months Mrs Adewole completed caesareans wearing a sterile gown over her chosen sterile scrub dresses.

But in March 2009 the midwife in charge of the high dependency unit ejected her from the theatre for wearing a dress. Mrs Adewole told the tribunal: "It was humiliating.”

On Tuesday night the midwife's claim was rejected by the tribunal. It ruled that the strict uniform policy in force at Queen's Hospital did not disadvantage Christians and was "legitimate and proportionate for infection control”.

Please click on the link to see the original article