5000BCE – Assyrian Empire The earliest record of women veiling their faces dates from the Assyrian Empire. The veil developed as a way of denoting social status, with only aristocrats allowed to wear it. Any slave women found wearing a veil would be publicly lashed.
633AD – Islam begins The religion of Islam started in Mecca, through the teachings of the prophet, Mohamed.
700s – Islam adopts veiling As Islam spread throughout the world, it often adopted local customs, including the practice of face veiling. It was not for almost a century after the beginning of Islam that Muslim women began veiling their faces
900s– veil becomes common The veil was not a common rule until the tenth century, when many laws were created that placed women at a disadvantage. Under the Mamluks in Egypt, for example, strict veiling was worn and women were not allowed to take part in public activities.
1899 – qasimamin against veil QasimAmin's book ‘The Emancipation of Women’ concluded Egypt had fallen under European rule because of the low education levels and social status of Egyptian women. He claimed that practices such as veiling were social customs and not part of Islam, and called for a new interpretation of the Qu'ran. His book caused much debate.
1910 – nassef defends veil In 1910, Egyptian feminist writer MalakHifniNassef wrote "The Womenests", where she stated that women were used to veiling and should not be suddenly ordered to unveil. She wrote that "there is no doubt that he has erred grievously against us in decreeing our rights in the past and no doubt that he errs grievously in decreeing our rights now."
1920s– Iran against veil In the 1920s, King Amanullah shocked the people of Iran by allowing his wife, Queen Soraya, to remove her veil in public. He also said "Religion does not require women to veil their hands, feet and faces or enjoin any special type of veil. Tribal custom must not impose itself on the free will of the individual."
1920s – turkey against veil In the 1920s, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk began to form Turkey into a secular democracy. He spoke out against the veil, believing it to be demeaning. However, he did not ban it.
1935 – iran bans the veil Reza Pahlavi, banned the chador in an attempt to moderniseIran. He urged women to cast “this symbol of injustice and shame, into the fires of oblivion”. Anyone found wearing the chador in public were not allowed to use public transport and risked having it cut up with scissors. Many women felt exposed without the veil so refused to leave their homes.
1967 – return to the veil After the Six Day War in 1967, when Egypt lost to Israel, many Muslim women returned to conservative values, including the veil. Veils were seen as a symbol of superiority and domination.
1979 – iran’s revolution During the revolution in Iran, the chador was worn as a symbol of protest against the Pahlavi dynasty and its Western support. To these women, the veil symbolised liberation in much the same way as the denim overalls worn by American feminists. After the revolution, women began to be mocked and punished if they appeared in public without a veil.
1996-2001 – taliban During the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, it was compulsory to wear the burqa in public. The Department for the Propagation of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice enforced the law with beatings or worse.
2004 – france bans in schools In 2004 France banned the wearing of clearly visible religious symbols, including burqas and hijabs, within public schools.
2009 – france against veils The President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, said that burqas were unwelcome in France, saying that "In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity". The French National Assembly set up in inquiry to consider banning the wearing of them.
2009 – belgium bans in schools In September 2009, the Flemish public school board in Belgium banned pupils from wearing of veils.
2009 – barbie wears a burqa Barbie, one of the most famous children's toys in the world, wore a burqa to celebrate her 50th anniversary. The doll, described as wearing "traditional Islamic dress", was sold at a charity auction for Save the Children.
2010 – france suggests ban On 25 January 2010, the French commission reported back to parliament, saying that access to public services and transport should be denied to women wearing burqas.
2010 – belgium bans burqa The Interior Affairs committee in Belgium proposed a ban on burqas in Belguim for public safety. The Lower Houses passed it, and it is waiting for approval from the Senate.