France has announced that it may soon ban women from wearing the burqa outside the home. A burqa, worn by some Muslim women, is the head-to-toe garment that typically has only a small opening at the eyes.
The French government plans to set up an investigative commission that will determine whether women are being forced to wear the burqa in public, and if so, a law banning them may be passed.
Of course the proposed law has some problems. In really strict households, it could mean that women will live more oppressed and confined lives, only being allowed to leave the house on rare occasions. In addition, a law that regulates what people wear raises questions of abuse of power and an violation of basic rights. Then again, maybe the study will demonstrate that the burqa is distinct from all other types of dress because it threatens France's free society by subjugating women.