The Fun Never Stops

by Nathan Hamm on 4/21/2004

Turkmenistan schoolgirls made to wear headscarves

Schoolgirls and women teachers in Turkmenistan will have to don long dresses and headscarves and students and teachers of both sexes must wear a badge depicting the head of President Saparmurat Niyazov in profile, a senior education ministry official said.

The order takes effect at the start of the next school year in September and includes a ban on Western fashion.

“Teachers and schoolgirls will be strictly prohibited from coming to school in trousers, mini-skirts, skirts with a high split, tops that expose the midriff and low-cut blouses,” the official said.

Traditionally-inclined Turkmen women wear long dresses embroidered at the neck and their hair gathered on top of their heads under a small scarf. Scarves wound around the whole face are commonly worn by female street-cleaners and women working in dustier parts of this mainly desert country. —AFP

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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