Washington International Law Journal


This Comment examines three instances of laws banning hijab, the headscarf worn by many Muslim women. These laws, as enacted in Soviet Uzbekistan, France, and Tajikistan provide justifications for violence against women on a number of levels and, as such, violate the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The stigmatization of Muslim women these laws perpetuate result in women’s lack of access to work and education as guaranteed by CEDAW, and also act as a catalyst for violence against women who violate these laws. This paper argues that hijab suppression laws violate CEDAW on a number of levels; not only do these laws result in Muslim women’s disparate access to education and work, but also have the effect of justifying and perpetuating violence against women.

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