Panty Protest: Kazakhstan Women Outraged by Lace Underwear Ban

February 18, 2014 | By | Reply More

Feb 18, A trade ban on synthetic lace lingerie has been contested by female protesters in Russia. The ban will outlaw any underwear containing less than 6% cotton from being imported, made, or sold in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

hromedia Panty Protest Kazakhstan Women Outraged by Lace Underwear Ban eu news2A law affecting the Eurasian Union, the trade bloc of the three countries, means women’s underwear may be removed from shop shelves on July 1.

The ban is aimed at protecting customers from cheap materials that could have a negative health impact. However, the bureaucratic wording means that underwear made of non-natural material that does not meet a 6% absorption threshold will be prohibited.

The authorities in Kazakhstan have detained several women protesting against a ban on lace underwear, it’s been reported.

One of the seven women held at the demonstration in Almaty, was waving what she said was the last pair of lace knickers she had left, website reports. Another demonstrator told Russia’s independent Rain TV that local residents have been receiving messages on their phones urging them to stay at home.

Production, import and sale of lace underwear will stop in July 2014 in Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus under a Moscow-led Customs Union. Officials say lace does not absorb enough moisture. The regulation was approved back in 2011, but has not been enforced until now.

Recently, Kazakhstan has also seen protests against the falling value of the local currency, the tenge.

The Russia Textile Businesses Union has said over $4 billion worth of underwear is sold annually in Russia. According to the union, around 80% of the products are made abroad and shipped into the country.

Alisa Sapardiyeva, the manager of a lingerie store in Moscow, told Russia Today: “As a rule, lacy underwear is literally snatched off the shelves. If you take that away again, the buyer is going to be the one who suffers the most.”

Critics have dismissed the ban as another attempt to implement misguided controls and regulations in post-Soviet countries.

Trifon Gadzhikasimov, 22, said: “I think (the girls)… will still have the opportunity to wear it (synthetic lace underwear) whether you can buy it in Russia or not. I think this is just another silly law that shows the ineffectiveness of our government.”

The Eurasion Economic Commission is expected to issue a statement on the issue and it is likely the lace-ban will be overturned by Russia’s trade ministry.

Meanwhile, discontent has plagued Russia and Kazakhstan over currency devaluations. Prior to the protest in Kazakhstan, a larger demonstration in Almaty had taken place against a 19% devaluation of the Tenge, the local currency, against the dollar.

Press journalist for HRO media – Norberto Lluch contributed to this report.

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Category: European Crises, Women Rights

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