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No Hijab Day

Today is ‘world hijab day’, which is a day designed to celebrate women who choose to wear the hijab.

It is important to also acknowledge those women who are forced to wear the hijab. Those that have no choice in the matter. This might be because of the laws where they live, or because they are at risk of harm from loved ones if they don’t wear it. There are people here, in the UK, who tell me they must pretend to want to wear the hijab because of family, so you can imagine what it is like for people who are in other countries.

Both Muslims and ex-Muslims may be pressured or forced into wearing the hijab. Whilst I specialise in working with ex-Muslims, I know that you can be religious but still not want to wear it. If you are one of those people who is currently being forced to wear it, I hope one day you can find a way to make your own choices about your own body.

Here is to no-hijab day. I celebrate all those women who have managed to find a way out of the life they used to live, when they were forced to wear it. I have friends who used to have to wear it and have managed to set boundaries with family, and are now able to wear what they want - as we should all be allowed to do! I also work with clients who have stopped wearing it.

For some people, not wearing it can feel strange in the beginning. Even though they are choosing to remove it, after wearing something for so long it can feel strange to no longer do so. There are also people who don't find it strange at all and feel instant liberation when they can stop wearing the hijab. Whatever your story is, I hope you feel able to share it today so we can raise awareness about all the people who don't choose to wear the hijab, but are forced to do so.

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