SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that women missionaries for the Mormon faith will now be allowed to wear pants in countries where there is a risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
In a statement Friday, the LDS Church said it was following recommendations by governmental agencies across the globe. The policy change, allowing women to wear slacks and other clothing that covers arms and legs, would apply to 230 missions — about half of the Church’s missions. Women missionaries would still be encouraged to wear skirts or dresses when attending temple or Sunday services, the church said.
“The new guidelines apply only during the wet seasons, when the risk for mosquito-borne illnesses is high. Information is being sent to all mission presidents and will also be provided to newly called missionaries. Those areas include parts of Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico, Pacific, Philippines and South America,” the LDS Church said in its statement.
The LDS Church also said it would pay for DEET-containing insect repellant for all missionaries.
“We will continue to monitor and evaluate the spread of these diseases and, where needed, make adjustments in these guidelines, giving highest priority to missionary health and safety,” said a statement from the LDS Church’s First Presidency. “We continue to recommend that missionaries avoid stagnant and standing water, where possible, particularly around residential areas and in their apartments.”