14 February 2016

Egypt: Cairo University Bans Face-Veil for University Hospitals' Staff

Cairo — Cairo University's president banned on Sunday all women involved in treating patients at university hospitals from wearing the niqab, a full-face veil.

The decision bans women working at Cairo University's hospitals and treating facilities from the face veil to preserve the rights of patients, University President Gaber Nassar said.

Nassar added that the decision, which was issued today, will come into effect at once.

Today's decision includes the teaching staff, doctors, students, the nursing staff and other technical and assisting workers.

Last month, Egypt's Administrative Court rejected lawsuits filed against á former decision by Naasar banning fully-veiled women from becoming teaching staff members.

About 100 women wearing the face veil were involved in the lawsuits.

Nassar told Aswat Masriya at the time that all his decisions are in the public interest and that they will benefit the university and the educational process.

The lawsuits filed stated that the decision violates the constitution including Article 14 which stipulates: "Public offices are a competence-based right for all citizens without bias or favouritism." The article stated that public servants "may not be dismissed without disciplinary procedures except in the cases specified by the law."

The niqab is viewed by ultra-conservative Muslims as a sign of modesty. The vast majority of women in Egypt, however, do not wear it.

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