Burka bullying banned by Bangladesh court

Telegraph on line: Bangladesh’s high court has banned educational institutions in the Muslim-majority country from bullying female employees into wearing headscarves or veils, a lawyer said on Friday.

 Wearing a burka or niqab in the South Asian country of 144 million is not compulsory, but women are often pressured into adopting Muslim headwear, which is tantamount to sexual harassment, Sara Hossain, a barrister, told AFP.

„It is a woman’s personal choice to cover her head or not and nobody can force them to do so against their will,” she said, quoting the court ruling.

The high court decision on Thursday followed a case lodged by a headmistress who claimed she was verbally assaulted by a government official for not covering her hair during a staff meeting.

The government official has since been ordered by the court to apologise, Ms Hossain said.

In recent years, Bangladesh has seen a rise in reported incidents of sexual harassment at educational institutions. The country has recently deployed plain-clothed police at schools in the capital to prevent bullying of female students.