This debate was conducted at the Australian National University and recorded by ABC Fora. The video recording is reproduced below, and the text accompanying the video is as follows:
The burka has been the subject of much controversy recently with Nicolas Sarkozy calling for its ban in France. In Australia, some libertarians have also called for it to be banned, arguing that it subjugates women and is a symbol of male dominance. But who has the right to determine when an item of clothing should be banned, and for whom? In this engaging debate at ANU a group of journalists and writers voiced their opinions and concerns on this complex issue.
Professor Hilary Charlesworth is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and Director of the Centre for International Governance and Justice at The Australian National University.
Virginia Hausegger is a journalist and presenter of ABC News in Canberra. She is also a columnist for the Canberra Times. In 1996 she was awarded the UN Association of Australia Media Peace Prize for her work on indigenous affairs.
Julie Posetti is a former radio and television journalist at the ABC. She is currently a lecturer of journalism at the University of Canberra.
Shakira Hussein is completing her PhD on encounters between western and Muslim women. She is in the Centre for Asian Societies and Histories at the ANU.