Should female diplomats wear headscarves in Muslim-majority nations? | The Tylt
Melania and Ivanka Trump raised some eyebrows by not wearing headscarves in Saudi Arabia, a nation where women are required by law to wear headscarves in public. President Trump criticized Michelle Obama in 2015 for eschewing the headscarf during her Saudi Arabian visit, saying her choice insulted Saudi leaders. Many say visitors, especially diplomats, should wear hijabs as a gesture of respect. But some say non-Muslim women should not have to follow religious dress codes. What do you think? ☪️
Should female diplomats wear headscarves in Muslim-majority nations?
Many argue that if you are a diplomat or political representative, you need to prioritize communicating with and demonstrating your respect for other cultures (particularly ones that have been marginalized by the West for centuries). That includes observing their dress codes. Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush all wore the hijab at different times while visiting Muslim-majority countries.
But others ask why it is only women diplomats that are required to conform to a dress code, when male politicians can wear whatever they want. Others say cultural respect is a two-way street: Western nations should respect the choice of Muslim women to wear the hijab, and Muslim-majority nations should respect women's choices to leave their heads uncovered.
Trump supporters applauded Melania's choice as a refusal to obey Saudi Arabia's dress code for women, and a blow struck against political correctness and respect for Islam in general.
But AJ+ pointed out that many first ladies and female Western leaders have left their heads uncovered during visits to Saudi Arabia. This wasn't some bold statement by the Trump family.
Others felt the real controversy here was about President Trump criticizing Michelle Obama harshly for doing what his wife and daughter just did.
And still others ask why we are spending so much time and energy on the wardrobe choices of Western women when Saudi Arabian women's rights are so severely restricted.