By BBC/Evelyne Wareh
A court in Kenya has ruled that Christian schools may not ban Muslim girls from wearing hijabs as part of their uniforms. A Church-run school had banned female pupils from wearing the headscarf, saying that allowing students to dress differently created discord.
The judges said it was the girls’ constitutional right to adhere to their religious requirements Muslim schoolgirls in Kenya should be allowed to wear hijabs as part of their school uniforms, a court of appeal has ruled.
The landmark ruling by three judges comes after a Methodist church challenged a directive from local authorities to allow Muslim girls to wear hijabs or veils to the school it sponsored. Female students at St Paul’s Kiwanjani Day Secondary School in Isiolo County had been banned from wearing a hijab and white trousers in addition to their uniform.
The church had argued that the decision to allow the female Muslim students to dress differently had created animosity and discord among students. A High Court backed the church and said girls at the school could not wear the hijab.
But the appeal judges said that it was imperative for promoters of education to embrace the values and principles of dignity, diversity, and non-discrimination. According to local media report, the judges added that religious attire could not be equated with fashion. State schools already allow girls to wear the hijab