World Hijab Day: Understanding psychological implications for women who face Hijab prejudice

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World Hijab Day
World Hijab Day

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

Zainab Farrukh
Zainab is a Psychologist, Writer and the Founder of The WomeNetwork. She is currently striving to make The WomeNetwork a place where women from across the globe can connect on a deep level and empower each other on their way to success.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is very true! In a public facing job you’re more likely to get negative comments and attitudes especially if you’re going into a social care role and going into people’ homes, but your post is a great reminder that women do all sorts of jobs wearing Hijab and continue to excel Alhamdulillah!

  2. I couldn’t agree more that the Hijab is a personal choice, and everyone is at a different journey in their religion. We should be supporting one another, whether they decide to wear the hijab or not. We should encourage those who may want to wear it one but never pressurise one. I always see many big Muslimah bloggers/vloggers, who don’t wear the hijab get hate for not wearing it and it saddens me. It’s a choice between them and Allah (SWT). Who are we to judge. We should be looking at our own sins.
    Lots of love
    Ramshaa Rose
    xxx

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