Hijab regulations: Two women’s experience

Nadya and Emna grew up nearly 12,000 km away from each other but they share one important experience.

They have both been told what they can and can’t wear by the people around them, based on their religion.

In Indonesia, many politicians argue that the jilbab, a kind of hijab, is mandatory in Islam and that Muslim girls should be forced to wear it from a young age. A new decree allows for students or teachers to now wear whatever they want in school, but not every place enforces this; Nadya grew up having to wear it at school, and was expected to continue doing so afterwards by her family.

In France, the opposite conversation is happening, with a new bill that is stopping minors from wearing conspicuous religious clothing at school, and the hijab receiving widespread media attention in a country where secularism is celebrated. Growing up, Emna felt that lots of people in French society had misconceptions around the hijab as a result.

Explore more stories about faith at Heart and Soul on the BBC World Service

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