Sweden’s Trade Minister Ann Linde has been forced to defend herself, and her government colleagues, after they wore headscarves during an official visit to Iran.
The Director of United Nations Watch in Geneva has called it the ‘walk of shame’:
Walk of shame: Women of Sweden’s “first feminist government in the world” don hijab as they walk past Iran’s Rouhani https://t.co/aeEFgibVhV pic.twitter.com/urHrtObkYv
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) 12 февраля 2017 г.
The BBC reports that among those attacking the self-described ‘first feminist government in the world‘ is Jan Björklund, the leader of the opposition Liberal party.
He said the headscarf represents patriarchal oppression, and goes against feminist foreign policy.
Björklund suggested that the Swedish government should have requested that the female visitors not be required to wear a headscarf.
He said if their request was refused, they shouldn’t have signed any trade agreements.
Linde responded that Iran requires women to wear the headscarf by law.
She also said she sees no conflict between a country’s human rights record and signing trade deals.
Queen Elizabeth visited Iran in 1961, and also covered her head.
In 2016, women visiting Iran were urged to break the dress code and take off their headscarves in public by an Iranian journalist.
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