Well I think it depends on the rules applied by the government of the country itself. For example in Afghanistan women are strictly prohibited to go and work outside home without a male company which should be someone from their closest family and they must cover their whole body if they want to do these.
On the contrary in Indonesia, even though it's not an Islamic country but has the biggest muslim population most women have the freedom to go to school and work as long as they get permission from their family (who is usually their father or husband).
I myself still have some infringements from my parents but only limited to several matters such as marriage, praying times, and some other things. But I'm still allowed to go outside home to hang out with friends, or to watch movies and go to concerts.
Hope it answers a little bit .
If you don't mind me asking, could you tell me some of the philosophy behind women of Islam having to be covered partly or completely? ...if that is not too personal to talk about in this forum.
My limited intuition on the subject is that it is a kind of protection from harm. Is that part of it?
Hi Sparkling Jewel,
Actually there's a verse in the Koran mentioning that women should cover parts of the body except her face and palm hand in order to protect herself. But there are various interpretations on it according to what every Muslim believes in and to which Islamic scholar she embraces (either among the majority of Hanafi, Maliki, Hambali, Syafi'i, or other clerics).
As to myself I wear it besides as a fulfilment of my promise to God years ago, I feel more comfortable with it and just to remind me when I'm doing something very bad then I remembered that there's my God watching over myself. So it's like a self-control.
Sorry if you're not satisfied with my answer , but that's how I'm dealing with.