South African military changes policy to allow headscarves for women

2021-01-28 21:06:55
South African military changes policy to allow headscarves for women

South Africa's military has changed its policy to allow Muslim women serving the country’s armed forces to wear hijabs with their uniforms.

It is a victory for Maj Fatima Isaacs, who led a three-year legal battle for her religious right to wear a headscarf beneath her military beret.

The policy change comes after the military dropped charges against Isaacs for wearing the headscarf. She had faced removal for refusing to remove it.

Isaacs, who works as a clinical forensic pathologist at a military hospital, told the Cape Times it was a victory not only for her, but all people who were "silently victimised" because of their religion.

"We are living in a democratic country which means that there should be no discrimination with regards to religious beliefs. I believe religion is the foundation of a moral state/country. This is an important victory," she told the paper.

She also thanked the Legal Resource Centre (LRC), a rights group which took up her case in 2019.

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