Turkey lifts ban on trousers for women MPs in parliament

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turkey-women-mps-wear-headscarves-in-parliament-1383255145-1987Turkey’s parliament has lifted the ban on women lawmakers wearing trousers in the assembly, in a further liberalisation of dress rules following a landmark decision to allow female deputies to wear the Islamic headscarf.

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A deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Safak Pavey, drew attention to the trouser ban during a parliamentary debate on the emotive headscarf issue which polarised opinions in the largely Muslim but secular Turkey.

 

Pavey, elected in June 2011, has a prosthetic leg but parliament rejected her previous request to be allowed to wear trousers because of regulations which specified that women should wear suits with skirts.

 

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling centre-right AK Party, which has Islamist roots, proposed the relaxation of the trouser ban and the opposition parties – the secularist CHP, the pro-Kurdish BDP and Turkish nationalist MHP – backed the plan.

 

The parliament approved the measure late on Wednesday.

 

The Turkish parliament witnessed historic scenes in October when four AKP female lawmakers wore headscarves for the first time in the assembly.

 

The headscarf is viewed by secularists as an emblem of political Islam and thus a threat to the republic’s secular identity.

 

But the AK Party argued that the restrictions on its use violate the principle of religious freedom.

 

Secularists made only subdued protests to the move, highlighting a shift in attitudes in Turkey about religion after more than a decade of AKP rule.

The headscarf ban had also been lifted in other state institutions as well as the parliament. (Reuters/NAN)

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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