Muslim women all over the globe celebrate World Hijab Day on 1st February. Celebrating Hijab Day is a commemoration of one’s identity as a Muslim woman and way to tell the world that Hijabis stand as one against the world that denies women the right to wear a hijab.
For a Muslim woman – Hijab stands for modesty and makes her feel empowered, safeguards her identity and protects her against demeaning gazes. For many Muslim women; Hijab is an empowering garment that stresses on a woman’s dignity and integrity.
Discrimination Faced by Women Who Wear Hijab in Non-Muslim Countries
As a counselor; I come across women from different parts of the globe that have a difficult time having to choose between their identity; wearing a hijab or being able to do a job. Imagine it as having to decide between a choice of air to breathe or water to drink!
Many companies worldwide deny their employees the right to wear a hijab, simply because of negative perceptions and attitudes formed toward hijab and women who wear them. This is especially true for jobs that require women to be at the front; i.e. as a receptionist or as saleswomen. Our world leaders talk about World Peace yet forget that this is a free world; where everyone has the right to speak, dress and behave according to their personal values and norms. Despite all their power, they seem to fail to decipher that hijab is a symbol of purity rather than oppression inflicted on a woman.
Understanding the Damage Caused by Discriminating against Women who Wear Hijab
Choosing to wear a Hijab; is strictly one’s personal decision based on one’s level of Faith. While there are many Muslim women who do not wear a hijab in public – it is their personal choice. However, for those who wish to wear a Hijab – the decision comes from a very strong internal motivation based on one’s faith and experience. Nonetheless, if the desire is mocked ridiculed and restricted; in the forms of verbal abuse or unspoken acts such as not employing women who wear a headscarf; women are likely to endure profound internal conflict.
Because of the widespread prejudice against hijab; women are likely to experience a gap in their real and ideal selves. Such discrepancy causes emotional and psychological turmoil and leads to cognitive dissonance. It hinders one’s personal development; restricts their goals and stops them from reaching their full potential as successful and productive women.
So, on this World Hijab Day, let’s make a pact to have each other’s back. Let us motivate and encourage women across the globe who wear a hijab or wish to wear a hijab someday; so that they do not feel alone and vulnerable. Wear your hijab like a crown – with grace and pride. May this year bring better prospects for each one of us.
For more enlightening perspectives on World Hijab Day, by Muslim women across the globe, visit:
Rashda Hameed, World Hijab Day – Celebrating Muslimahs
Sharmeen Kidwai, What Happened When I Put A Scarf On
Mona M Ismaeil, World Hijab Day: What Does Hijab Mean To Me?
Ramsha Rose, My Hijab Story
Madiha Qureshi, World Hijab Day and Giveaway
Abidha Basheer, Hijab doesn’t make us different – live and let live!
Aminat O OdunEwu-Seese, Striving For Clarity
Diah Dwi Arti, The freedom to wear hijab for Muslim women
Humaira Ahmad, World Hijab Day – My Hijab Story
Sussu Leclerc, My Hijab is a Hot Charcoal
Maheen Nusrat, Word Hijaab Day-My Hijaab Story