When we are in America, one of the most common subjects I am asked about is about women covering. The questions vary from whether or not I cover, what it's like to teach women/students who cover, how many women cover, etc. Today CNN International had a nice article on covering in the Middle East. You'll see from the article that there are many varying views on covering. It is certainly not a case of "one cover fits all."
As for my experience - there are certain places in town you can go where more women will be covered or even more people in local dress. In the classroom, I rarely have a class where no female is covered but the ratio of covered to not covered can vary. And certainly way the women cover varies quite a bit. Some only cover when they are in the Middle East (they view it more as cultural than religious) while some cover no matter what.
What I can say for sure:
- Not all Muslim women cover
- Those that do cover have different reasons for covering
- They cover in different ways
- Covering in no way correlates to how religious a woman is