Turkish Government Passes Law Allowing Women To Wear Pants In Parliament After Lifting Headscarf Ban

| by Will Hagle

Women lawmakers in Turkey’s parliament can now legally wear pants to government sessions. While this may seem like a relatively minor achievement, especially for those in nations accustomed to the type of female pantsuits donned by leaders such as Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel, Turkey has been undergoing a radical string of dress code transformations throughout recent months. Prior to the decision to allow females to wear pants in parliament, the government passed a law allowing females to wear the Islamic headscarf within the building. The largely Islamic but also secular nation had previously banned the religious garments during parliament sessions.

In fact, the issue of allowing pants in parliament initially arose during the debates surrounding whether or not to allow headscarfs during lawmaking sessions. Republican People’s Party representative Safak Pavey had requested to be allowed to wear pants since she has a prosthetic leg. The previous rule, however, was that women had to wear suits with skirts, according to the Huffington Post. 

Although the Prime Minister of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan is a conservative and Islamist leader, he quickly agreed with Pavey’s plan to allow women to wear pants within parliament, and the bill passed with relative ease.

The other three primary parties within the Turkish government include the secular-leaning CHP, the pro-Kurdish BDP and the Turkish nationalist party MHP, according to Elite Daily. All parties supported the plan, and the garment restrictions within the government continue to be liberalized.