Did Iraq ban miniskirts and trousers for female students?

Published October 31st, 2016 - 12:53 GMT
Students graduate from Baghdad University (AFP/Ahmed Al Rubayeh)
Students graduate from Baghdad University (AFP/Ahmed Al Rubayeh)

Hot on the heels of the ban on alcohol announced last week, a concerning piece of news came from Iraq yesterday. The country, it was reported, had banned miniskirts and trousers for female students at its universities.

The report, which came from Kurdish agency Rudaw, was worrying for many. It appeared to be another sign of increasingly religious and authoritarian lawmaking in Iraq. 

The story, however, appears to be untrue.

The Ministry of Higher Education in Iraq issued a statement on Facebook denying the claim.


So what happened? 

According to the Administration and Russian Agency Sputnik the misreporting was based on a memo, circulated to students every year, which provided guidance about appropriate dress at university. That included refraining from wearing tight trousers, jeans, or bright colours. And it applied to men as well as women. 

Several sources tweeted that they’d heard nothing of the ban, or retracted their previous retweets of the report. Many slammed Rudaw, a Kurdish agency, for misreporting the incident.



At the time of writing, Rudaw had not retracted the tweet or issued a clarification.


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