No Burkinis Allowed
I’ve been watching the struggle to ban the burqa in France and other countries. I appreciate the offered sentiment regarding women’s dignity, but I think there is a broader issue here–one of targeted discrimination.
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports that around 4.8 million women in the U.S. suffer abuse at the hands of their partners each year. How many of those women do you think wears a burqa or niqab?
A 2009 French intelligence report states that of the five to six million Muslims living in France– France has the largest number of Muslims in Europe–only a handful of them still wear a niqab and many of them were born into non-Muslim families.
The ban on the burqa is said to be an issue of women’s rights but I would argue it has more to do with stemming the flow of Muslim immigration into the country and controlling fundamentalism in general. A ban like this one might benefit a few women, but just as many will feel targeted, shamed and discriminated against.
I don’t have an answer for ending the violence against women in any country, but I’m pretty sure police officers shaming ladies on the beach works against that purpose.
Today is Women’s Equality Day. The focus of that awareness campaign is equal rights for women in the U.S., but I’d like to extend that sentiment to women around the world.
Equality is about pride and tolerance, not finger pointing and shame. It is certainly not about manipulation and control.
Now, go out, celebrate personal choices and enjoy some art.
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