Persian. Veil. Full-length garment covering a woman from head to foot, typically black in color. Not mandated by the Quran, although it symbolizes modest dress in Islamic culture. Historically worn by urban upper-class women for protection, honor, and distinction. Western feminists point to it as a symbol of backwardness and women's oppression and inferior status in Islamic societies. Westernized elites discarded it in favor of Western dress. Like the hijab, the chador has become popular among women in Islamist movements wishing to visibly identify themselves as Islamists and as an assertion of dignity and Islamic culture. Mandated in Saudi Arabia.
See also Hijab