I was commissioned by the Globe and Mail to photograph and interview people who had been affected by Quebec's Religious Symbols Law (formerly Bill 21.) Passed in June 2019, the law prohibits public-services workers, including teachers, Crown prosecutors, judges and police officers, from wearing religious garments on the job. The law has derailed the lives and careers of thousands of Muslim women who wear the hijab or niqab, Sikh men who wear a turban, orthodox Jews who wear a kippa, and others. It has also killed hopes of advancement for employees who’ve been grandfathered into their current public-service jobs but whose chances for promotion are now limited.
In my search, I found 6 Muslim women who had been impacted by this law. In the interviews which I carried out, I found out that this law impacted them beyond their career plans and financial security, but that it impacted their sense of safety, mental health, and belonging. Some women chose to move away from Quebec due to the law, some are forced to look for other career options, and some are stuck in the midst of degrees that will no longer serve them.
This cover story was published in December 2019 and can be read here.