The persistence of all-male panels (just like all-white panels) is a sign of indifference and a serious lack of imagination and effort. Tackling the issue means men must play an active role in making them obsolete. If you’re a panel organizer or news producer, play close attention to the gender split, make a concerted effort to invite women, and consult Canadian databases of female experts so you never have to utter “But I couldn’t find a woman to speak” ever again.
The simple matter is, you cannot emancipate women forced to wear the niqab abroad by forcing women here to remove it. There is nothing progressive or feminist about forcing women to remove an article of clothing. It’s as regressive as forcing a woman to wear a niqab if she doesn’t want to wear one. Ultimately, the issue isn’t about the niqab or burqa, but about women’s right to choose.