United Nations Opposes France's Ban on Muslim Hijab at Olympics

Paris 2024

The United Nations (UN) has expressed its opposition to dress codes that restrict women's clothing choices, following France's decision to bar its Olympic athletes from wearing the Muslim hijab during the 2024 Paris Games.

United Nations rights office spokesperson Marta Hurtado stated at a press conference in Geneva, "No one should impose on a woman what she needs to wear or not wear." She emphasized the importance of upholding the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which prohibits discriminatory practices.

Although Hurtado did not directly address France's stance, she highlighted that any restrictions on religious attire should be based on legitimate concerns of public safety, order, health, or morals, and should be necessary and proportionate.

France's strict rules on secularism aim to maintain the state's neutrality in religious matters while ensuring citizens' freedom to practice their religion. The country's laws prohibit wearing "ostentatious" religious symbols in certain contexts, including state schools and by civil servants. Full-face coverings were banned in 2010, and in June, France's Council of State upheld a ban on hijabs for women footballers.

The UN's opposition to imposing dress codes for women highlights the importance of respecting individual choices and religious freedoms. The discussion around religious dress continues to be a sensitive topic in France and across the globe, raising important questions about secularism, religious rights, and equality.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024