What it is part off is local traditions in the region, which comes from in part the subjugation of women by any and all means by men. Women are property and hence need to be "protected" from the competition and covering them up is a great way of doing so. So yes, the Burqa is a symbol of oppression of women pure and simple. It is no different than a chastity belt from the middle ages.. I doubt that you would agree with them now would you?