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Turkish parliament lifts ban on female lawmakers wearing trousers

Turkey's Parliament [official website] on Wednesday lifted a ban on female lawmakers wearing trousers in the assembly. Republican People's Party Deputy Safak Pavey [Huffington Post backgrounder] brought up the issue last month during a parliamentary debate on women wearing traditional Islamic headscarves in public institutions. Pavey has a prosthethic leg and had been prohibited from wearing trousers based on regulations specifying that women should wear skirt suits. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's [official website, in Turkish; JURIST news archive] center-right and Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party proposed the lift on the female trouser ban, and opposition parties supported the proposal.

Last Month Turkey lifted its ban on women wearing traditional Islamic headscarves in public institutions. The official lifting of the ban occurred just eight days after Erdogan announced the change, which is part of a package of human rights reforms [JURIST report] that Erdogan proposed. The reform package will include allowing Kurdish language education and reducing barriers to entry for Kurdish political parties. In a speech to the Turkish parliament, Erdogan called the move "a step toward normalization." The new rules regarding headscarves will not apply to the military or the judiciary.


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