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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Women in Many Countries Face Harassment for Clothing Deemed Too Religious – Or Too Secular
By Virginia Villa   |  Dec 18, 2020


Religious restrictions around the world often target women, who in many countries face censure because their clothing is considered too religious – or not religious enough. These restrictions frequently take the form of social harassment by individuals or groups, but also sometimes involve official government actions.

Women in 56 countries experienced social hostilities – that is, harassment from individuals or groups – due to clothing that was deemed to violate religious or secular dress norms, according to the sources analyzed for a recent Pew Research Center study of 198 nations. Social harassment can range from verbal abuse to physical violence or killings motivated at least in part by the target’s religious identity; incidents for this measure took place between 2016 and 2018.

Meanwhile, women in 61 countries faced government restrictions on dress – specifically, regulations on their head coverings. This measure covers rules that were in place or incidents that occurred in 2018.

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