France's Burqa Ban, One Year Later

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A woman wearing a burqa and her male companion in Paris, France in July 2010.
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One year ago, France implemented the "burqa ban," a restriction on Muslim women covering their faces in the burqa or niqab. Advocates for the ban argued it would free women of gender enslavement and help Muslims better integrate into French society. The ban received widespread support in France and even some Muslim organizations supported the legislation.

Takeaway producer Arwa Gunja traveled to Paris as a reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists to examine the impact of the law over the last year. She met with Lila Citar, who wears the niqab and started the online organization "Amazones de la Liberte," a support and advocacy network for those who continue to wear the niqab. According to Citar, all women in her organization chose to wear the Muslim garb — they are not forced to do so. Citar also explains that many of these women fear leaving their homes because they may be subject to fines by the police or harassment on the streets.