Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Girls & Women

Danes March Against Face-Veil Ban to Support Muslim Women's Rights


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Restricting the rights of Muslim women to wear religious garb anywhere is discriminatory. You can take action here to help speak out for equality for all.

More than a thousand Danes took to the streets of Copenhagen this week to protest a new ban on face veils in public, reported Reuters.

Protesters, who according to CNN wore face coverings including burqas and niqabs as they marched through the Danish capital, accused the government of infringing on women’s right to dress as they choose.

Take Action: Sign this petition to #LeveltheLaw and empower girls and women around the world!

“We need to send a signal to the government that we will not bow to discrimination and a law that specifically targets a religious minority,” said Sabina, a 21-year-old niqab-garbed student, in an interview with Reuters.  

Amnesty International echoed that sentiment in previous statements of support, saying the ban “violates the rights to freedom of expression and religion” and discriminates against women, particularly Muslim women.

Embed from Getty Images

Muslims make up around 5% of Denmark’s 5.7 million population, with 0.1% of those, or between 150 and 200 Muslim women, who wear the niqab or burqa garments covering the face or the entire body daily.

Related Stories May 31, 2018 Denmark Just Banned Burqas and Other Face Coverings

Considering the relatively small community of women wearing face veils in Denmark, the legislation is being interpreted by critics as a justification of anti-immigrant sentiment in the Nordic country.

As of Aug. 1, when the law went into effect, police can instruct women to remove their veils or order them to leave public areas, exacting fines of 1,000 Danish crowns ($160 USD) or more per offense.

Related Stories Sept. 6, 2017 CHIME FOR CHANGE This Predominantly Muslim Country Just Passed a New Law That Discourages Women From Wearing Hijabs

Denmark joins a handful of other European nations that have prohibited face coverings in recent years, CNN noted. France banned full face veils in 2011. Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and parts of Switzerland have since set their own restrictions.