13 August 2016 Last updated at: 1:17 PM
Malawi Muslim women allowed to wear hijabs in license photos
The Malawi government through the directorate of Road Traffic has ruled that Muslims women can have their driving license photos without taking away the hijabs.
Reports reveal that Muslim women have been failing to get driving licenses as they were forced to take off the hijabs for photos a development that was seen to go against the Islamic faith. Commenting on the matter, director of Road Traffic Jack Manong’a said Muslim women are now allowed to have their driving license photos in hijabs.
“They are allowed to have the pictures whilst in hijab but their faces and eyes must not be hidden, what I know is that the Muslim women are not supposed to show their hair but they can show their eyes and face,” said Manong’a.
He added that government has a standard rule on the matter which is followed at Immigration Department during the issuance of passports.
Malawi24 understands that the directorate has been forcing the women to take off the hijabs for easy identification of the drivers when they are on the roads of the country as most women especially Asians cover up their faces as part of their faith.
Authorities from Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) have since allowed Muslim women to slightly remove the hijab to show their eyes and face for a driving licence picture.
Hijab is a veil that covers the head and chest, which is particularly worn by some postmenarchal Muslim women in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family.
It can further refer to any head, face, or body covering worn by Muslim women that conforms to a certain standard of modesty.
Hijab can also be used to refer to the seclusion of women from men in the public sphere, or it may embody a metaphysical dimension.