2017-09-14

Schools in Zhanaozen bar girls wearing hijabs

By Arman Kaliyev

ZHANAOZEN, Kazakhstan -- A court will decide whether schoolgirls in Zhanaozen may wear hijabs to school, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)'s Kazakhstani service reported Wednesday (September 13).

Parents of about 60 schoolgirls are complaining that since school began September 1, their hijab-wearing daughters have not been allowed to attend class. They call the ban a violation of the children's constitutional rights.

In response, the local department of education intends to sue the parents for their children's "truancy", according to RFE/RL. Truancy in Kazakhstan is defined as missing more than 36 hours of instruction without justification.

The department is carrying out the Education Ministry's October 2016 order banning certain forms of dress among schoolgirls, Tattimbet Jumagaliyev, chief of the department, told RFE/RL.

However, parents respond that their daughters are wearing school uniforms in addition to their headscarves.

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