France Passes Bill On Veil Ban Through National Assembly
July 14, 2010
The measure has been presented as a joint issue between security and French identity, and has caused a great deal of debate around the world. However, it has amassed major support among the French public, especially feminists who say the niqab [a veil that covers the lower half of the face] and the burka [ a veil that covers the entire body and face, including the eyes] are archaic and sexist garments.
It is this feminist pressure that caused the Socialist party of France to step away from the vote, leading to a 335 vote pass, with only 1 opposed. This is out of 557 seats.
Now that the ban has passed the National Assembly, it is poised to be voted through Senate before being signed into law. Given the wide support from both public and government agents, there is little doubt that it will make it into full legislation.
Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told the BBC that the vote was a “victory for French values”.
“Values of freedom against all the oppressions which try to humiliate individuals; values of equality between men and women, against those who push for inequality and injustice.”