The Story Behind World Hijab Day - Celebrating Muslim Women's Diversity

For many Muslim women, the hijab is an integral part of their lives. It symbolizes their faith and guides how they move, speak and engage with others.

The hijab is an iconic symbol of Muslim identity, yet its position in Western cultures can be complex. For some, it symbolizes oppression while for others, it brings about feelings of freedom.


Founder Nazma Khan’s Story

Nazma Khan founded World Hijab Day as a global initiative to celebrate Muslim women's diversity and foster empathy for those wearing hijabs. Inspired by her own experience, Khan started this event to foster understanding for those Muslim women who face harassment or bigotry for wearing their headscarves.

She felt insulted and judged for wearing the hijab at school and in higher education, prompting her to want to do something about it. That is when she founded World Hijab Day in 2013 as a way to honor and spread awareness about those millions of Muslims who wear the hijab worldwide and address its associated problems.

Since then, she's seen the day spread around the world. In New York State alone, proclamations have been issued and even the House of Commons in the UK held an event to commemorate it.

Many people mistakenly associate the hijab with Islamic fundamentalism and female oppression, but for Khan it's a reflection of her religious convictions in beauty through modesty. That's why Khan created World Hijab Day: to help non-Muslims understand her perspective and encourage them to try wearing the hijab for one day and see how it makes them feel.

World Hijab Day provides an unique chance for those who are not Muslim to gain insight into what it means to wear the hijab and demonstrate their support for Muslims worldwide. Whether you live in America or another country, you can take part in World Hijab Day by wearing your hijab, sharing a photo on social media channels and attending events.

World Hijab Day is an international movement honoring millions of Muslim women who wear the hijab, celebrating their diverse and positive experiences with wearing this garment.

On Wednesday, the Muslim Students Association at Pitt is hosting a World Hijab Day event in Tower Lobby. There will be tables set up with children's books, stickers and pamphlets about hijab wearers as well as an assortment of polaroid pictures featuring women wearing it on campus.


Hijab as a Symbol of Faith

The Hijab, or head covering worn by Muslim women, is a symbol of faith for many. This modest practice allows Muslims to connect with God and protect themselves from unbelievers' gazes. Furthermore, it helps people understand how to respect Muslims within an increasingly multicultural world.

However, despite its beneficial effects on women's self-esteem, Hijab has come under attack in some Muslim countries. For instance, after Iran's 1979 revolution, government regulations stricterened regulations regarding women's dress - altering how many women perceived hijab.

Unfortunately, some Muslim women began to interpret it as a sign of oppression instead of empowerment. This profoundly affected how they felt about their lives and identity as Muslims.

However, the hijab remains an integral part of Muslim culture and for some women, it serves as a form of protest against oppression.

Hijab is a symbol of modesty and submission in the Qur'an. However, for Muslim women who refuse to conform to rigid rules that govern their lives, Hijab can be seen as a sign of resistance. In some countries, such laws may even lead to death penalty prosecution for those who refuse to follow them.

In other parts of the world, however, hijab has become a symbol for freedom and activism. In August 2014, one mother of the Camp Speicher massacre victims threw her hijab at Iraqi parliament speaker Ahmed Hussaini.

Today, the hijab is seen as a sign of resistance against injustice and misogyny; however, it also symbolizes faith for many Muslim women. World Hijab Day, established by Nazma Khan in 2013, encourages non-Muslims to don the hijab for one day in celebration of diversity and acceptance.

Edmonton filmmaker Amal Mohamud views her Hijab as an expression of faith and her individual style. Recently, she wrote and produced a short film to tackle misconceptions surrounding this practice.

She wanted to create a video that would give people insight into why Muslim women choose to wear the Hijab. Hopefully, it will encourage viewers to speak with a Muslim woman about their experiences with Hijab.


Embracing Diversity

In many countries around the world, wearing the hijab is seen as a symbol of faith and modesty. On the other hand, in some places it can be an indication of oppression; for instance, Muslim women in Iran are forced to wear it or risk their lives for religious practices.

As a result, they may experience social anxiety and self-esteem issues. This can have an adverse effect on their performance at work, level of engagement and productivity at work.

One of the best ways to make a Muslim woman feel secure and supported at work is by offering her opportunities for meaningful conversations about her beliefs, values, and struggles in an inclusive manner. You can also encourage her to express herself respectfully without fear of judgment or criticism, using her voice in an effective and constructive manner.

While many organizations strive to make their workplaces more diverse, employees often face barriers due to preconceived notions about what diversity entails. These could include stereotypes about certain groups, prejudices and lack of knowledge on the part of managers or employees.

Though this can seem like an impossible task, remember that it's never too late to make changes in your workplace. Fostering an inclusive culture takes time, energy and dedication - so don't put off making changes just yet!

However, by changing how you approach diversity discussions, your team members can develop empathy and respect for one another. Doing this has the potential to have a significant effect on both employee recruitment and retention as well as your company's reputation.

Establishing a shared language around diversity is essential for understanding what people of various backgrounds value and why they wish to be included in your organization. Doing this will enable you to create an inclusive atmosphere that makes both your business more profitable and your team happier at work.

Tolerance and acceptance of diversity is a lifelong journey for everyone. It begins by exposing your children to various situations, people and environments so that they develop an understanding of differences without judgment. Engaging in conversations about intellectual abilities, physical capabilities, racial/religious groups and sexual orientation can make a big difference in your child's future prospects.


Hijab as a Symbol of Strength

For many Muslim women around the world, wearing the hijab is more than just an article of clothing. It symbolizes their cultural identity and religious devotion while providing protection from both sun and wind.

The Quran commands both men and women to maintain modesty in their dress and behavior, which has made the hijab such a part of Muslim culture for so long - it's even required in some cultures!

Although it can be a symbol of faith and devotion for many, it can also be seen as an oppressive social norm - particularly in Western countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Indonesia where women who do not abide by so-called "religious modesty standards" often face violence or arbitrary arrests.

Human Rights Watch recently published a report detailing how women in Saudi Arabia are being killed on the streets for wearing jeans and other non-hijab clothing, with many also being imprisoned or tortured for posting videos without the headscarf on social media platforms. Furthermore, those without hijab face discrimination; they are denied jobs and education opportunities, forcing them to choose between work and family responsibilities.

World Hijab Day was founded by Khan with the mission of showing that wearing the hijab can be a choice, not an obligation. She wanted people to understand that it's possible for women to choose whether or not they wear their hijab, making them happier and more secure in themselves as individuals. Furthermore, having this garment on their person encourages people to focus on character traits while reminding themselves what matters most in life.

World Hijab Day has seen tremendous success: each year it grows and spreads around the world, now celebrated in over 130 countries with live events taking place around the globe.

On World Humanitarian Day (WHD), the Yale Student Association (MSA) and Yale Women's Center (YWC) joined forces to host an event on Cross Campus where visitors could try on a hijab and learn about its history. Additionally, they shared delicious baklava and gave away limited edition copies of YWC's Hijab of the Month designed by a Muslim woman in Yale's community.