32% of Pakistanis say niqab most appropriate dress for women: survey

Only 22% of Pakistanis say women should be able to dress as they wish: University of Michigan survey.

Zehra Nabi January 09, 2014

University of Michigan Population Studies Center recently published a survey in which it asked respondents from Muslim countries to choose the most appropriate apparel for women. 

The survey, which was conducted between 2011 and 2013, covered seven countries: Tunisia, Pakistani, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The section devoted to gender issues included a question on how women should dress in public. Respondents were shown six head shots which showed women wearing a shuttlecock burka, a niqab, different forms of headscarves and one without any head covering.

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Of the 3,523 Pakistanis surveyed in the report, 32% favoured a niqab (photo 2). The abaya (photo 3) was the second most popular category with 31% of people voting for it. In comparison, only 3% of respondents voted for the shuttlecock burka and only 2% for the woman shown without a veil or scarf. 51% of the Pakistani respondents were male.

For most countries, the fourth image, which shows a woman wearing a headscarf, was deemed to be the most appropriate but in Lebanon the majority of respondents - nearly 50% - voted for the sixth image which shows a woman without any veil or scarf.

Dress as they please

When asked whether women should be allowed to dress as they please, nearly half the respondents from Tunisia, Lebanon and Turkey - if not more - voted in favour. However only 22% of Pakistanis said women should be able to dress as they wish, followed by Egypt at 14%.

Gender issues

The survey also asked respondents if women should always be expected to obey their husbands. 38% of Lebanese respondents disagreed with the statement whereas only 8% of Pakistani voted against it.

Also, when asked about the importance of love as basis for marriage, only 7% of Pakistanis said it was important.

In most of the surveys on women and gender, Pakistani respondents voted conservatively but when asked whether men make better political leaders than women, 29% of Pakistanis disagreed. In comparison, only 17% of Egyptians, 21% of Saudis and 28% of Iraqis disagreed that men make better political leaders than women.


Niels Christensen | 9 years ago | Reply @Rex Minor: Women were asked, read the report.
IndiansRealityCheck | 9 years ago | Reply

@ajeet: Meanwhile indians in particular hindus run to Saudi Arabia, last estimated indian population in Saudi is over 1million increasing everday, would be interesting to know what are your views on hypocricy

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