A court in Kenya has ruled that Christian schools may not ban Muslim girls from wearing hijabs as part of their uniforms.
This is significant because large swathes of northern Kenya have received very little government support over the decades and have grown to depend on schools and hospitals run by Christian missionaries.
In counties like Garissa, Mandera and Lodwar, the best-performing schools were run by Christian missionaries.
Rules included studying Christianity and, at Catholic schools, attending Mass together at daybreak.
The challenge came as Muslim students joined these schools.
One Muslim parent told me that at first, she had accepted the rules because of the school’s great results. She wanted her daughter to go to university. But with time, she found the school to be in conflict with her family’s religion.
Teachers suspended her daughter rather than allowing her to pray in the Islamic way.
Eventually this mother became one of the parents who challenged the school’s uniform policy, leading to Friday’s ruling.
She said: “This decision is very good not for my daughter alone but for many students like her in north-eastern Kenya where practically all the best schools are run by Catholic nuns.”