19 November 2010

Enforcement of Islamic Dress Code for Women in Chechnya

In the past few years the situation of women's rights in Chechnya has deteriorated significantly, requiring immediate attention from the Russian government and Russia's international partners.

Chechen women have essentially become the target of a quasi-official "virtue" campaign. For several years, the Chechen authorities have discriminated against women who refuse to wear headscarves, prohibiting them from working in the public sector. Female students are also required to wear headscarves in schools and universities.

Though these measures have not been codified into law, they are strictly enforced and vocally supported by the republic's leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, who is directly appointed by the Kremlin. This paper describes violence and threats against women to intimidate them into adhering to Islamic dress codes. The documented incidents took place from June through September 2010 in Grozny, Chechnya's capital. [Human Rights Watch] Read more [via National Secular Society]