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Pictures | Tue Sep 14, 2010 | 3:05pm EDT

Veiled women of the world

<p>Afghan women covered by burqas walk in the yard of the shrine of Imam Ali, son in-law of Prophet Mohammad, in the city of Mazar-i-Shariff, about 420 km (260 miles) north of Kabul, Afghanistan May 8, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood</p>

Afghan women covered by burqas walk in the yard of the shrine of Imam Ali, son in-law of Prophet Mohammad, in the city of Mazar-i-Shariff, about 420 km (260 miles) north of Kabul, Afghanistan May 8, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Afghan women covered by burqas walk in the yard of the shrine of Imam Ali, son in-law of Prophet Mohammad, in the city of Mazar-i-Shariff, about 420 km (260 miles) north of Kabul, Afghanistan May 8, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>Afghan women stand in a clothing shop in Herat December 16, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl </p>

Afghan women stand in a clothing shop in Herat December 16, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Afghan women stand in a clothing shop in Herat December 16, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

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<p>Women from the United Arab Emirates attend the opening day of the Asian Youth Chess championship in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates August 23, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah </p>

Women from the United Arab Emirates attend the opening day of the Asian Youth Chess championship in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates August 23, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Women from the United Arab Emirates attend the opening day of the Asian Youth Chess championship in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates August 23, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

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<p>Omani women wait inside a polling station before voting in Muscat October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah </p>

Omani women wait inside a polling station before voting in Muscat October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Omani women wait inside a polling station before voting in Muscat October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

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<p>A girl wearing a traditional burqa plays in Kabul August 11, 2008. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi </p>

A girl wearing a traditional burqa plays in Kabul August 11, 2008. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A girl wearing a traditional burqa plays in Kabul August 11, 2008. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>Veiled Saudi women take photos of their children during a ceremony to celebrate Saudi Arabia's Independence Day in Riyadh September 23, 2009. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed </p>

Veiled Saudi women take photos of their children during a ceremony to celebrate Saudi Arabia's Independence Day in Riyadh September 23, 2009. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

Veiled Saudi women take photos of their children during a ceremony to celebrate Saudi Arabia's Independence Day in Riyadh September 23, 2009. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

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<p>Ayisha, an Iraqi Sunni woman, shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote in Amman, Jordan, December 15, 2005. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji</p>

Ayisha, an Iraqi Sunni woman, shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote in Amman, Jordan, December 15, 2005. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

Ayisha, an Iraqi Sunni woman, shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote in Amman, Jordan, December 15, 2005. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

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<p>Afghan widows clad in burqas line up during a cash for work project by humanitarian organisation CARE International in Kabul January 6, 2010. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood </p>

Afghan widows clad in burqas line up during a cash for work project by humanitarian organisation CARE International in Kabul January 6, 2010. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Afghan widows clad in burqas line up during a cash for work project by humanitarian organisation CARE International in Kabul January 6, 2010. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>An undated handout photograph released by the Royal Preston Hospital on September 26, 2006 shows a surgical gown modelled on an Islamic burqa. The new gown has been introduced at the Royal Preston Hospital to allow female Muslim patients to cover themselves in line with their religious beliefs. REUTERS/Handout </p>

An undated handout photograph released by the Royal Preston Hospital on September 26, 2006 shows a surgical gown modelled on an Islamic burqa. The new gown has been introduced at the Royal Preston Hospital to allow female Muslim patients to cover...more

An undated handout photograph released by the Royal Preston Hospital on September 26, 2006 shows a surgical gown modelled on an Islamic burqa. The new gown has been introduced at the Royal Preston Hospital to allow female Muslim patients to cover themselves in line with their religious beliefs. REUTERS/Handout

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<p>A Palestinian woman prays at al-Omari mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in Gaza City August 24, 2009. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem </p>

A Palestinian woman prays at al-Omari mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in Gaza City August 24, 2009. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

A Palestinian woman prays at al-Omari mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in Gaza City August 24, 2009. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

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<p>Zerqa Abid wears her niqab while working on her laptop computer in the food court of the Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio, August 20, 2007. Abid, who has worked as a television news editor and behind the scenes production staffer and is currently seeking a job in Columbus, says that American laws allow her the freedom to work and wear her niqab, but with an important drawback. "I am still not welcome on the screen because of my face cover," says Abid.  REUTERS/Matt Sullivan</p>

Zerqa Abid wears her niqab while working on her laptop computer in the food court of the Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio, August 20, 2007. Abid, who has worked as a television news editor and behind the scenes production staffer...more

Zerqa Abid wears her niqab while working on her laptop computer in the food court of the Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio, August 20, 2007. Abid, who has worked as a television news editor and behind the scenes production staffer and is currently seeking a job in Columbus, says that American laws allow her the freedom to work and wear her niqab, but with an important drawback. "I am still not welcome on the screen because of my face cover," says Abid. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan

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<p>An Afghan woman clad in a burqa, checks on her daughter in a hospital in Charikar city, May 11, 2009. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani </p>

An Afghan woman clad in a burqa, checks on her daughter in a hospital in Charikar city, May 11, 2009. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Afghan woman clad in a burqa, checks on her daughter in a hospital in Charikar city, May 11, 2009. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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<p>Clerics attend a meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Orumieh, 946km (591 miles) northwest of Tehran, March 5, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl </p>

Clerics attend a meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Orumieh, 946km (591 miles) northwest of Tehran, March 5, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Clerics attend a meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Orumieh, 946km (591 miles) northwest of Tehran, March 5, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

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<p>A woman takes pictures with a mobile phone of a protest by family members of Islamist prisoners held in a Lebanese jail, near the parliament in downtown Beirut August 26, 2008. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi </p>

A woman takes pictures with a mobile phone of a protest by family members of Islamist prisoners held in a Lebanese jail, near the parliament in downtown Beirut August 26, 2008. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

A woman takes pictures with a mobile phone of a protest by family members of Islamist prisoners held in a Lebanese jail, near the parliament in downtown Beirut August 26, 2008. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

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<p>University graduates attend their graduation ceremony in Sanaa, Yemen, July 30, 2008. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah </p>

University graduates attend their graduation ceremony in Sanaa, Yemen, July 30, 2008. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

University graduates attend their graduation ceremony in Sanaa, Yemen, July 30, 2008. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

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<p>A supporter of Afghan presidential candidate Masooda Jalal listens to her speech during a campaign in Jabul Saraj 80km (50 miles) north of Kabul September 18, 2004. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood </p>

A supporter of Afghan presidential candidate Masooda Jalal listens to her speech during a campaign in Jabul Saraj 80km (50 miles) north of Kabul September 18, 2004. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

A supporter of Afghan presidential candidate Masooda Jalal listens to her speech during a campaign in Jabul Saraj 80km (50 miles) north of Kabul September 18, 2004. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>Salma, a 22-year-old French national living in Belgium who chooses to wear the niqab after converting to Islam, gives an interview to Reuters television outside the Belgian Parliament in Brussels April 26, 2010.  REUTERS/Yves Herman</p>

Salma, a 22-year-old French national living in Belgium who chooses to wear the niqab after converting to Islam, gives an interview to Reuters television outside the Belgian Parliament in Brussels April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Salma, a 22-year-old French national living in Belgium who chooses to wear the niqab after converting to Islam, gives an interview to Reuters television outside the Belgian Parliament in Brussels April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Yves Herman

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<p>People play in the snow in Amman, Jordan, January 31, 2008. REUTERS/Majed Jaber </p>

People play in the snow in Amman, Jordan, January 31, 2008. REUTERS/Majed Jaber

People play in the snow in Amman, Jordan, January 31, 2008. REUTERS/Majed Jaber

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<p>Pakistani religious students hold sticks as they escape from tear gas fired by authorities outside the Red mosque in Islamabad, July 3, 2007.  REUTERS/Mian Khursheed </p>

Pakistani religious students hold sticks as they escape from tear gas fired by authorities outside the Red mosque in Islamabad, July 3, 2007. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

Pakistani religious students hold sticks as they escape from tear gas fired by authorities outside the Red mosque in Islamabad, July 3, 2007. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

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<p>Veiled women travel in a pickup in Bahariya Oasis (El-Waha el-Bahariya), about 360 km from Cairo, April 15, 2010. REUTERS/Tarek Mostafa </p>

Veiled women travel in a pickup in Bahariya Oasis (El-Waha el-Bahariya), about 360 km from Cairo, April 15, 2010. REUTERS/Tarek Mostafa

Veiled women travel in a pickup in Bahariya Oasis (El-Waha el-Bahariya), about 360 km from Cairo, April 15, 2010. REUTERS/Tarek Mostafa

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<p>A veiled Somali refugee walks past a shack in the main market at Dagahaley camp in Dadaab in Kenya's northeastern province June 6, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly</p>

A veiled Somali refugee walks past a shack in the main market at Dagahaley camp in Dadaab in Kenya's northeastern province June 6, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A veiled Somali refugee walks past a shack in the main market at Dagahaley camp in Dadaab in Kenya's northeastern province June 6, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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<p>Members of Yemen's first women shadow parliament attend their first convention in Sanaa April 23, 2009. The shadow parliament comprises 120 female members who ran as candidates in previous legislative elections but did not win. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah </p>

Members of Yemen's first women shadow parliament attend their first convention in Sanaa April 23, 2009. The shadow parliament comprises 120 female members who ran as candidates in previous legislative elections but did not win. REUTERS/Khaled...more

Members of Yemen's first women shadow parliament attend their first convention in Sanaa April 23, 2009. The shadow parliament comprises 120 female members who ran as candidates in previous legislative elections but did not win. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

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<p>Palestinian women work at a pastry factory in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa </p>

Palestinian women work at a pastry factory in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Palestinian women work at a pastry factory in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

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<p>A female Saudi telephone operator works at the International Medical Center in Jeddah June 4, 2007. REUTERS/Susan Baaghil </p>

A female Saudi telephone operator works at the International Medical Center in Jeddah June 4, 2007. REUTERS/Susan Baaghil

A female Saudi telephone operator works at the International Medical Center in Jeddah June 4, 2007. REUTERS/Susan Baaghil

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<p>Muslim brides wait for their wedding ceremonies to start during a mass marriage ceremony in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, India, November 8, 2009. REUTERS/Amit Dave </p>

Muslim brides wait for their wedding ceremonies to start during a mass marriage ceremony in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, India, November 8, 2009. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Muslim brides wait for their wedding ceremonies to start during a mass marriage ceremony in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, India, November 8, 2009. REUTERS/Amit Dave

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<p>A woman walks past riot police outside a gathering in Kabul's stadium February 23, 2007.  REUTERS/Ahmad Masood </p>

A woman walks past riot police outside a gathering in Kabul's stadium February 23, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

A woman walks past riot police outside a gathering in Kabul's stadium February 23, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>Women wearing niqabs walk past a clothing shop in Marseille, France, December 24, 2009.  REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier </p>

Women wearing niqabs walk past a clothing shop in Marseille, France, December 24, 2009. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Women wearing niqabs walk past a clothing shop in Marseille, France, December 24, 2009. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

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<p>An official (R) watches as swimmers walk by after the men's 100m butterfly swimming heats at the 15th Asian Games in Doha December 3, 2006. REUTERS/Jason Reed </p>

An official (R) watches as swimmers walk by after the men's 100m butterfly swimming heats at the 15th Asian Games in Doha December 3, 2006. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An official (R) watches as swimmers walk by after the men's 100m butterfly swimming heats at the 15th Asian Games in Doha December 3, 2006. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>Iraqi female police trainees hold their weapons during training in a field in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, June 7, 2008. REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed </p>

Iraqi female police trainees hold their weapons during training in a field in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, June 7, 2008. REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed

Iraqi female police trainees hold their weapons during training in a field in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, June 7, 2008. REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed

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<p>A young Afghan woman shows her face in public for the first time after 5 years of Taliban Sharia law as she waits at a food distribution center in central Kabul November 14, 2001. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis </p>

A young Afghan woman shows her face in public for the first time after 5 years of Taliban Sharia law as she waits at a food distribution center in central Kabul November 14, 2001. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

A young Afghan woman shows her face in public for the first time after 5 years of Taliban Sharia law as she waits at a food distribution center in central Kabul November 14, 2001. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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