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85% in Muslim countries support the headscarf

Muslim women

Source : World Bulletin / 29 Apr 2014

The findings of a study surveying the opinions on women’s dress in seven predominantly Muslim countries has found that an astonishing 84.6% agree that women should wear the headscarf.

Having collected the opinions of respondents in Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan, the survey conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research found that only 15.4% of those who responded to a question regarding how women should dress believed that they should not wear the head covering. However, the findings noted differences in opinions regarding how the headscarf should be worn, as well as its style.

Overall, 21,143 people living in these countries responded to the questionnaire, which was carried out between January 2011 and June 2013. The sample of men and women was split 50-50, while 7% of overall respondents were non-Muslims.

While Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan and Egypt all had similar results regarding whether they believed women should wear the headscarf or not, Lebanon demonstrated the most preference for women not to wear the headscarf, with 49% saying they preferred women without it. However, it is important to note that 31% of respondents from Lebanon were not Muslims. 15% of Egyptians also said they preferred women not to wear any headscarf, but likewise, 14% of respondents in Egypt were also non-Muslims.

Turkey was the only country from which respondents were entirely Muslim but demonstrated a disproportionately high stance against the headscarf, with 32% saying they believed women should not wear it. However, after 90 years of living in a state of staunch constitutional secularism, in which the ban on the headscarf was only officially removed two months ago, the fact that 68% of Turkish respondents supported the headscarf was a remarkable result.



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