Kadyrov Orders Female Officials to Cover Up

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 35

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov ordered all female governmental officials to, as RIA Novosti put it on September 11, “dress appropriately, strictly in accordance with the republic’s dress code, and be aware of their appearance.” RIA Novosti quoted Kadyrov as saying at a meeting of heads of local administrations, ministries, agencies and law-enforcement bodies: “I demand that heads of districts, ministries and agencies of Chechnya inform their subordinates of the necessity to be aware of their appearance and dress appropriately, strictly in accordance with the workplace dress code. This especially concerns women. Their apparel must comply with the Chechen traditions. Chechen women have always been distinguished by their restraint in everything, and this image should be the model for everyone.”

According to the news agency, Kadyrov recalled that a year ago he had already talked about the necessity for women to wear scarves and observe a strict dress code at work. “I am proud to be a Muslim and a Chechen, and, as a president, I demand that officials at their workplace observe moral and ethical norms in dressing, manners and behavior,” he said. “People may tell me that I am wrong or that this is unjustified, and so on, but at work everyone must obey the established rules. Out of office, that’s a private matter.”

In an interview with Komsomolskaya pravda published on September 10, Kadyrov said that “the emissaries of Wahhabism” are “duping” young people in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, telling them that people in the North Caucasus are “deviating” from the canons of Islam. “This is what they are telling young people: Brothels are being set up in hotels in Dagestan, and also girls walk the streets in shorts,” Kadyrov told the newspaper. “And if you wear shorts like them, well…This plays into the hands of the Wahhabis. They are the ones that are complaining.” Asked if this means shorts should not be worn, Kadyrov replied: “It is not the custom in our part of the world – it should not happen. In our part of the world a woman should be covered, do you understand?”

Meanwhile, the authorities in Grozny have banned the sale of alcoholic drinks in the Chechen capital during the month of Ramadan, Kavkazky Uzel reported on September 12.