Laws banning female teachers from wearing the Islamic headscarf in parts of Germany violate the rights of Muslim women, according to a report published Thursday by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The ban, in force in half of the 16 German states, "discriminates against Muslim women, excluding them from teaching and other public sector employment on the basis of their faith," the report said.

HRW said countries that forbid the wearing of the headscarf, or hijab, violate women's rights just as much as nations that force women to wear it.

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