Lifestyle & Belief

Here's how people in Muslim countries think women should dress


Many Muslim women hoped the ban on traditional face-covering veils would be overturned when Hollande took office. However, it doesn't look as though changing the law is on the horizon, despite rights groups saying it violates international law. Muslim women protested against the ban before it went into effect in 2011, like these women at a demonstration in Tours, France.



How women dress in public has always been an issue of intense debate in the Muslim world (as it no doubt is elsewhere).

A survey conducted by the University of Michigan looked at the attitudes of people toward women's attire in seven Muslim-dominated countries. It found that most people feel women should cover their hair when outside the home, but not necessarily their faces.

And almost no one preferred the full-body burqa, which completely covers the face.

The Pew Research Center released the following graphic Thursday detailing results of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research:

The styles ranged from a fully hooded burqa and niqab to the less conservative hijab and no head coverings at all.

Overall, most respondents preferred woman No. 4 in the above graphic, whose hair and ears are completely covered by a white hijab but whose face is still showing.

People in Lebanon and Turkey were the most open to no head coverings for women, while Saudi Arabia and Pakistan embraced the more conservative options.

Pakistanis were split evenly between the niqab (No. 2 in the graphic) and the chador (No. 3). Eleven percent of Saudi Arabians favored the ultraconservative burqa.

Separately, many Muslims in the countries surveyed believe women should be able to choose their own clothing.

This attitude was most prevalent in Tunisia (56 percent), Turkey (52 percent) and Lebanon (49 percent). People in Egypt (14 percent) were the least likely to think this way, according to the poll.

The poll quickly spawned many parodies in social media, as well as a trending hashtag: #HowShouldMidEastWomenDress