The Egyptian authorities has banned feminine college students from carrying the niqab, a face-covering veil, at faculties, in keeping with state-owned media.
Training Minister Reda Hegazy’s assertion, launched on Monday and quoted by the government-owned Ahram newspaper, stated college students have an “non-compulsory” proper to decide on if they are going to cowl their hair in school. The assertion, nevertheless, added that the hair overlaying can’t cowl their face.
“Any type of hair overlaying that contravenes the situation of the face being seen isn’t acceptable and the hair overlaying must be within the color chosen by the ministry and native schooling directorate,” it added.
The choice will likely be enforced ranging from the educational 12 months on September 30 and proceed till June 8, 2024.
Egyptians, chatting with Al Jazeera on the situation of anonymity, expressed combined opinions over the ban.
M A, a 33-year-old advertising and marketing supervisor from Alexandria, stated he’s in opposition to the niqab being worn at faculties as a result of it obscures what must be a “clear” instructional course of.
“Something that obscures academics from correctly studying the coed’s physique language and facial features to have the ability to assist them or present essential consideration shouldn’t be allowed at faculties,” he stated.
M M, who additionally agreed with the federal government’s ban, stated the implementation of this resolution is important from a safety perspective.
“Faculty authorities ought to be capable to establish folks going out and in of faculties,” the 38-year-old architect, who can be from Alexandria, stated.
He stated niqab-wearing college students are largely alienated in faculties, be they combined or segregated ones.
Alternatively, he believes the ban would possibly lead some dad and mom to switch their youngsters from combined faculties to female-only ones.
In keeping with the ministerial assertion, a pupil ought to make the choice to cowl her hair “based mostly on her personal private need with none strain or pressure from any individual or another entity aside from the dad and mom”, in an obvious reference to native non secular teams and actions.
The assertion stated dad and mom must be knowledgeable of their daughter’s selection and added that authorities will confirm the guardians’ information of the coed’s selection over the difficulty.
‘Females at all times pull brief straw’
Author F A, 45, from Cairo, thinks the federal government’s resolution is the most recent case of how girls are used as “punching baggage … socially, politically and economically”.
“Doesn’t matter below what pretext, or none … females at all times pull the brief straw,” she stated.
“A narrative as previous as time and one which continues to be written and plenty of applaud/decry it relying on which lens they’ve slapped on to see the world.”
She stated: “With France banning the abaya and the burkini, Egypt following swimsuit with the niqab ban and earlier than that the US Supreme Courtroom overturning Roe v Wade and the Taliban persevering with to severely constrain and constrict females from mainly dwelling – the policing of girls’s our bodies continues.”
I A, a 33-year-old civil engineer, additionally expressed assist for girls carrying niqab at faculties “as it’s a part of everybody’s freedom”.
“Egypt is a Muslim nation,” he advised Al Jazeera, including that he believed it might be tough to erase the nation’s id with such a call.
The federal government took this resolution “to reinforce safety in all of the fields, which I discover to be in opposition to human rights”, I A stated.
The hijab, which covers girls’s hair however not the face is broadly worn in Egypt, whereas the niqab is worn extra by folks from ultraconservative backgrounds.
There have been fierce discussions in Egyptian society over carrying niqab in public areas and academic establishments for a very long time.
Varied instructional establishments within the nation autonomously impose bans on niqabs.
In 2015, Cairo College launched a niqab ban for its workers, which was upheld in later years by the Egyptian judiciary in 2016 and 2020 regardless of appeals.
Niqab ban proposals launched within the Egyptian parliament in recent times had been both withdrawn or rejected.