Which countries ban women from covering their faces?

After Denmark passes a law banning women from covering their faces with religious garments, such as the burqa or niqab, I look at the controversy surrounding burqas across Europe.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Which countries ban women from covering their faces? - NewsMavens
Muslim woman, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

Denmark joins the list of European countries banning the covering of faces with religious garments, commonly worn by women who practice Islam. Austria, France and Belgium already have similar legislation

Effective from August 1, this year, breaking the law will incur a fine of 1,000 Danish kroner. Austria, France and Belgium have similar legislation.

Despite the bans being commonly seen as a method of security, the only people who will be affected by the bans are women.

Not just women, Muslim women.

In some cases, practising Muslim women may not always wear religious garments that cover their faces. But dictating what they should and should not wear only poses the risk of limiting their personal freedoms and agency.

No matter what these burqa bans symbolize, in action they oppress. Which is a little ironic, don't you think, given that most critics of the burqa see it as an oppressive garment?

Whether it is or not, who is anyone else to dictate what women wear?

Details from the story:

  • Denmark joins some European nations in banning burqa
  • Few Muslim women in Denmark wear full-face veils
  • Only 30 percent of Muslim women in Germany wear face veils

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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