British public want to ban the burka to help women’s rights

woman wearing a burka
Image provided by Shutterstock

The majority of the British public want to ban the burka, according to a new YouGov survey.

The survey found that 57 per cent of Britons who took part were supportive of a ban on burkas, while only 25 per cent opposed a ban.

Those surveyed suggested that their reasoning behind a ban was a way of helping to promote women’s rights. Despite this, the survey showed that women were just as likely to support a ban as men; with 56 per cent of women and 58 per cent of men in support.

Only those aged 18 to 24 were opposed of the ban, the only age group to do so. Support for a ban on burkas grew as the age range increased, with only 34 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds in support, compared to 78 per cent of those aged 65 or older.

The survey also found that supporters of all the main political parties (Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and UKIP) were in favour of banning the burka. 84 per cent of all 2015 UKIP supporters and 66 per cent of Conservative voters were in support of the ban, while only 48 per cent and 42 per cent of Labour and Lib Dem voters agreed.

The research surrounds the heated debate into whether women should be allowed to wear full Islamic dress. France has recently hit the headlines after attempting to ban burkinis on their beaches. The ban was overturned by France’s highest court after being declared illegal, but many mayors have pledged to defy the ruling.

Since 2004, France banned the full burka and niqab, with other nations such as Belgium, and Tessin, Switzerland following suit in later years.

In Britain, UKIP leader candidate, Lisa Duffy has been vocal on Muslim women wearing a burka. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “I have not said ban. The policy I am using is show your face in a public place and areas of high security.”

“And let’s face it, the veil is often – though I realise by no means always – forced on women by men who view them as their property.”

However, France’s burkini ban, in which armed police were filmed forcing a woman to undress after she was spotted wearing the swimsuit; has caused a public outcry.

Many people have argued that banning the burka would not lead to gender equality, but would take away a women’s right to choose what they wear.

A spokesperson for the Government Equalities Office said, “The Government sees no need for measures restricting what people can wear in public places.”

“We support the rights of individuals in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness.”

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.
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