With the school year beginning in Gaza, the Hamas regime appears to be moving to impose Islamic dress codes on female students. Hamas has ordered schoolgirls to wear long-sleeved dresses called jilbabs as well as head scarves. Failure to do so could lead to expulsion from school.
Until two years ago, girls could wear jeans or trousers in Gaza public schools. But since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, it has pressured schools to force female students to dress in accordance with Islamic rules. The order follows a decree issued last month by a local judge requiring all female lawyers who appear in Gaza courts to wear the hijab (Muslim head scarf).
A source in the Hamas-controlled Education Ministry told Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh that school administrators had been given approval to decide on what type of clothing students should wear. "In many schools, the administrations, in coordination with the families, decided to impose hijabs and jilbabs on girls," the source said.
A veteran journalist in Gaza said that most girls who returned to schools that reopened on Sunday were seen dressed in traditional Islamic clothes. At one school in central Gaza, 95 percent of the girls were wearing jilbabs. "The few who came to school wearing jeans were warned that they would be expelled if they did not wear jilbabs," the journalist said.
The Gaza government has also reportedly banned men from teaching at girls' schools. Read more about it here.