A map showing the countries where women's religious clothing is restricted by government

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Saturday 27 August 2016 12:00
news

The world reacted with shock this week as pictures emerged showing armed police officers forcing a woman to remove clothes on a beach in France.

While a high court ruled on Friday that the burkini ban in one French town was "clearly illegal", likely setting a precedent for the rest of the country, international criticism has hardly died down as debate in the country rages on.

With attention focused on France, however, perhaps it has been overlooked slightly that it is far from the only country in the world, or indeed in the so-called liberal West to put restrictions on what women can wear.

This map from the Pew Research Center shows that 39 countries across the world and, perhaps surprisingly, 18 countries in Europe have some form of governmental influence on women's religious dress.

While the UK's inclusion on the list is not explicitly explained, a Human Rights Watch report includes the country because a measure looking at banning the full face veil has been proposed in parliament.

In 2012, the British ministers decided that Christians did not have the right to wear a cross to work after two women appealed against their employers' ban.

The case ended up at the European Court of Human Rights where the woman working at British Airways won the right to wear a cross at work, but the nurse did not because the need to protect health and safety in hospitals was more significant.

While there is no restriction on Islamic dress in the UK, schools are allowed to set their own dress code following a government directive in 2007.

This map, on the other hand, shows 12 countries where women were required to wear certain religious clothing:

More: These two photos highlight society's double standards over what women wear

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