This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Italy Moves Toward a Ban on Face Veils

The Italian Parliament is considering a bill that, if passed, would prohibit women from wearing a veil in public that covers the face. This legislation is similar to laws already in place in Belgium and France.
The bill, which has the backing of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's central-right coalition, would prohibit the wearing of a burka, niqab or any headwear which covers the face.If passed, those who defied the ban would face a fine of 150-300 euros ($213-426; £130-260) and some kind of community service, according to Ansa news agency.
For those who forced someone else to wear the covering, the penalty would be 30,000 euros and up to 12 months in jail, Ansa reports.
"Final approval will put an end to the suffering of many women who are often forced to wear the burka or niqab, which annihilates their dignity and gets in the way of integration," Ms Saltamartini [a member of Parliament] said in a statement.

Thus, the nominal reason for the ban is to encourage gender equity, although there is also some reason to suspect that concerns about multiculturalism and the integration of immigrants throughout Europe lies somewhere in the background as a motivation.

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