Tunisia to allow veiled women’s photographs in IDs

After allowing bearded men’s ID photographs


Tunisia's transitional government announced Friday that it will amend some articles to allow photographs of veil-wearing Tunisian women in the country’s identification cards, in respect for individualistic freedoms.

Unlike Iran and Saudi Arabia where women are forced to don the Islamic veil, Tunisia during the reign of the toppled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali did not women to be veiled.

The interior ministry said the change is going along the momentum of the Jasmine Revolution and to guarantee respect for both public and individual freedoms.

An article issued in 1993 stipulates the appearance of the face, hair and the eyes in ID photographs, but now the ministry is changing the article to allow face and eyes only.

On February the Tunisian transitional government allowed ID photographs for men with beards, in a gesture to accept ‘strict’ Muslim adherents who were previously quashed during Ben Ali’s firm secular rule.

Opposition and human rights organizations have condemned Ben Ali’s regime for narrowing freedoms of women wearing veils, as he called their head veil “sectarian” for violating individual freedoms.

(Translated from Arabic by Dina al-Shibeeb)