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Switching to Satr: An Ethnography of the Particular in Women’s Choices in Head Coverings in Tajikistan Open Access

In the early years of the Soviet Union, women in Central Asia were forcibly unveiled in an attempt to suppress Islam and create the “new Soviet woman.” A post-Soviet Islamic revival in Central Asia has brought with it the renewed practice of veiling. Women adopt hijab and other conservative head coverings for complex reasons as they seek identity and belonging in Tajikistan’s evolving society. Nevertheless, the current regime views the veiled Muslim woman as a threat to the imagined national identity. The sociopolitical elite perpetuates these policies and practices, subjugating women who choose to veil. This article explores how women experience the practice of veiling in post-Soviet Tajikistan.

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