Law and Ethics of Human Rights 1 (1):213-236 (2007)

This Paper explores the justifications for regulating modesty-related practices in liberal societies and uses two examples of modesty-related practices— the practice of wearing the hijab and the practice of separating men and women in buses—in order to demonstrate that modesty-related practices often rest on different rationales. Some of these rationales are oppressive and discriminatory while other are benign or even autonomy-enhancing. The multiplicity of meanings associated with modesty-related practices is a challenge to the policy maker. The Paper proposes that sometimes it is possible to transform the social meaning of modesty-related practices without transforming the practices themselves
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DOI 10.2202/1234-1234.1006
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