FEATURE -Job or hijab? Singapore debates ban on Islamic veil at work
Sept 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Every day before she starts her shift at a government hospital in Singapore, Farah removes her hijab – the Islamic veil she has worn since a teenager.
Although minority Muslim women can freely wear the hijab in most settings in Singapore, some professions bar the headscarf – and a recent case has triggered fresh debate on diversity and discrimination in the workplace.
Now Farah has joined a growing number of Muslims – who account for about 15% of Singapore’s 4 million resident population – calling for the ban to end, with an online petition gathering more than 50,000 signatures.
“They told me I can’t work here if I wear the tudung,” said Farah, using the local Malay term for hijab, as she recounts her job interview two years ago for a physiotherapist position.
“I felt a sense