Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen caused outrage in Saudi Arabia last week after she refused to wear a hijab head covering or the full length abaya garment during her visit with a Saudi Arabian prince.
Her decision to not wear the traditional head covering came days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ban on wearing burkas in Germany.
“With us, the rule is: Show your face, that’s why the full veil is not appropriate, it should be banned,” Merkel has said.
Von der Leyen said that she “respects the customs and traditions of the country,” but added that, “No woman in my delegation will be required to wear the abaya, as the right to choose one’s attire is a right shared by men and women equally,” according to Iran Front Page.
During her meeting with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al Saud, von der Leyen chose to wear a suit while the prince wore a traditional ghutrah head covering and white thobe garment.
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