14 June | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

All women should be entitled to their choice of clothing without fear

‘Deciding to wear hijab must be a woman's own choice. Men should respect choices women make regarding their own bodies’

Modesty and privacy are Islamic concepts that are also practiced in multi-ethnic and multi-religious countries. Miters is worn by women which is a distinctive headdress in Catholicism. Although wearing the hijab, which covers the entire body from head to toe in public, appears to be the most ‘difficult challenge’ for Muslim women, as it affects their professional life as well as their daily chores that aren’t easy to carry out. Despite that, deciding to wear the hijab must be out of a woman’s own choice.

Women around the world are made inferior and are humiliated for the choices they make as individuals, which should be condemned by any sensible human. However, women are impugn by the patriarchy. This humiliation continues worldwide, for example, women in France are excluded from a football field which had an effect on the sustainability of the hijabis in France.

In Iran, the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16, three days after her arrest by Tehran’s police, sparked a wave of large-scale protests that was unprecedented in terms of both their geographic scope and the demonstrators’ diverse social backgrounds. As the protests grew in intensity, videos of women cutting their hair and burning their hijabs circulated, serving as an expression of both rage directed at the regime responsible for Mahsa Amini’s death and a rejection of the policy of compulsory hijab in general.

However, acts such as hijab burning and defying any dress codes imposed by the government helped the world to see the latent issues Iranian women were facing. A woman from the Middle East raised her voice against the atrocities on women in the form of some strict laws forcing women to wear hijab with irrational fear and raised the slogan “Let’s Talk.” This year, the World Hijab Day was marked under the theme that “Hijab is our crown, not a crime.”

The headscarf is not widely worn in most South Asian countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and India. It also caused conservative activists to avoid attending meetings, even those only for women, with polished nails because they would face criticism from other attendees for wearing make-up and looking like a movie star. The criticism forces a woman to consider her attire and consistently allows her to feel slightly embarrassed. To coalesce my stance, I’d just say that a woman should be entitled to her choice of clothing.

She should never be afraid of bigotry from the society she lives in. I will suggest here that all the men should respect the choices women make regarding their own bodies. But it would all be true only in utopia as this world isn’t much ready to accept women with their mindsets and sagacious personalities as it comes off as a ‘threat’ to the patriarchy. Although women do not acquiesce to the society’s demands anymore as we are true hardy. Yet I covet to have a safe and respectful world for women. – Live and let live.