World Hijab Day: Group decries discrimination against Muslim women

Right Advocacy group decries discrimination against Muslim women

As part of activities marking the World Hijab Day, the Coalition of Nigerian Muslim Women, Wednesday, decried alleged discrimination against Muslim women at their work place.

The group, led by the Hijab Right Advocacy Initiative, spoke at a press conference in Lagos.

According to Mutiat Orolu, the leader of the group and convener of the conference, wearing of Hijab is not the culture of Arabs as erroneously held by some people or a fashion accessory that the Muslim woman may discard at will.

“It is a religious duty and an obligation on every Muslim woman in the observance of her faith. And this right to believe in and practise one‘s chosen faith is an inalienable right of every human being, as entrenched in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended),” she said.

Quoting sections 38, sub-sections 1 and 2, Mrs. Orolu maintained that wearing of the Hijab by the Muslim woman was the practical application of these provisions in the Nigerian constitution.

Mrs. Orolu, who is also a lawyer, narrated the ordeals of Muslim women in the society, stressing that their rights were being violated.

“Muslim women who choose to wear the Hijab face this (ordeal) and even worse every day while trying to get a job or even keep the ones they are currently in. In some cases, they have been forced to choose between having a job and practising their faith!

“One thing we all seem to agree on is that violence against women is wrong in all its forms, whether it is physical, emotional or psychological. Asking a Muslim woman to remove her Hijab is a form of violence against women.

“It should have no place in a progressive society like ours. As more people, women inclusive, are getting more educated and moving into the work force, Muslim women who choose to wear the Hijab still face discrimination in their work places and in the careers of their choice. Rather than discriminate, we should encourage work place diversity,” she said.

The legal practitioner, however, called on the media to be fair in its reportage of issues, noting that its role is vital to public perception of issues.

The group also urged the general public to accord Muslim women the freedom to practice their religion, as expressly stated in the Nigerian constitution.

“All we Hijabis want is the Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion; Freedom from Discrimination; Freedom from Violence against Women; Fair and accurate Representation in the Media; Inclusiveness in the Work Place and the right to be a citizen of this country just like everyone else.”

World Hijab Day is an annual event founded by Nazma Khan in 2013. This event takes place on February 1 each year in about 100 countries. It was borne out of the need to identify with Muslim women who face discrimination everyday due to the observance of their faith, the group said.


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  • blueeyedkitten

    i thought they said it was the muslim men that force their wives or daughters to wear the hijab.
    now here the women themselves asking for their right.

    • Ayinde Jamiu Kunle

      they keep money inside wallet, because money has value,, they keep cars inside garage ,,because cars has value,,, but why saying that covering my body is oppression,, HAVE I NO VALUE ??? Islam gave me value that is why I must be covered # myHijabMyPride #

      All what we value in the world, we try to cover it. It is because they value their body that is why they cover it. Please tell others that their body is valuable.

      • Musbau Hamzat

        Thks for your enlightenment. May Almighty Allah reward you. Amin

      • blueeyedkitten

        yeah! if you expose a rose flower too much, it ravages.
        our women are more than a rose flower.

  • Say the truth

    These people again. Which one is world hijab day? These people are just full of trouble.Since the birth of this religion the world itself ceased to know peace.

    • Ayinde Jamiu Kunle

      Islam is all about peace. Historically when Islam rules the world for more than 1000 years there is peace throughout the world. Today we know what the world is facing. Peace is about living together, history is clear about the crusade and colonialism.

      • chukwumusabayo

        Pls don’t go there. Do you know the history Islam at all? Are you aware of how Islam spread in the middle east? It wasn’t by conviction but coercion and force. You mentioned crusade. I rightly agree that the crusaders were as violent but do you know it was primarily a reaction to islamic forces? Do you know Islam invaded Spain in around 700AD? They didn’t preach peace to the people. It wasn’t by negotiation. Islamic region was the only recognised religion when they ruled. It was latter on that the Christian catholic via reconqustia fought and regained their land.

        • blueeyedkitten

          tell us how many people were killed by muslims in those times, and how many the crusaders killed..

    • blueeyedkitten

      ignorant punk! stop watching television and start reading.

  • Justice and Fairness

    I am a farmer and an entrepreneur. I can NEVER repeat NEVER allow a woman on Hijab in my employment. This has nothing whatsoever to do with religious bias. First it is an unsafe mode of dressing on the field and on the process floor. I would never allow a hijab wearing woman on a tractor or to get caught up in a fast moving belt on the process floor . I would be accused of encouraging suicide or homicide. Secondly I as a man I need to personally verify the identity of my staff as they sign on for duty every day. The obnoxious Hijab encourages people to fraudulently stand in for others. This is simply a medieval age culture carried into modern times out of religious bigotory. Suicide bombings, for example can never be eradicated in the North East if hijab wearing is not prohibited. These Religious bigots should please save the decent society the promotion of this outdated culture.

    • Ayinde Jamiu Kunle

      I thought we now have educated people who knows history. This history of man is begins from nakedness and cloth come as a prove of modernism. Modernization of farming environment calls for sectionalism, this means not all farm work are on the field. Coming to bomb in the north, more bombs are detonated with cars and modern technology, I know you would call for the ban of Cars in this country as well. Please check yourself well and be sure you are sincere with your statement. Hijab is a proof of modernization and morality.

      • Justice and Fairness

        Thanks for your enlightenment. But I stand firmly by my post which are my personal views to which I am entitled. Whoever it pleases can go ahead with the hijab. Even if men decide to also hide their nakedness they can also wear too. But me Oo, I can never work and pay a staff I cannot identity facially, man or woman. Cheers.

      • chukwumusabayo

        . . what happens if an ijab-wearing staff (mechanical engineer) is designated to work with heavy machinery where safety precautions exclude such outfit?

  • Freedom Bini

    In Islam woman have no right

    • Ayinde Jamiu Kunle

      I know you will want to change that word “Islam” in your post to something else. Islam is the first to give women all their right. The west and all known world culture claim women have no right to property and family. Islam tell us women can own property and can even be richer than their husband. Women should not necessarily change their name to their husband family name.
      Please read about Islam and stop professing ignorance. Right of women begin with Islam.

      • chukwumusabayo

        I need explanation to these:

        Why is it women’s rights are very poor in islamic countries whose constitution and laws are governed by tenets of islam? Check Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afganistan etc.

        Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.
        Surat An-Nisā ( 4:34 )

        Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are [only] daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one’s estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one’s parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents [alone] inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers [or sisters], for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he [may have] made or debt. Your parents or your children – you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah . Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
        Surat An-Nisā ( 4:11 )

        • blueeyedkitten

          on your first paragraph, dont use your own standard on what constitute women’s right to judge others. because what you consider as infringement on rights of women may not be acceptable by everybody, and even by the women themselves. so its a relative claim.

          on your second paragraph, that is classic islam for you there. it enjoined you to use your persuasive skills. if you follow true carefully, you could see that it gives you numerous options before it finally said – strike her. in otherwords, exhaust all the peaceful means of reaching a truce, thereafter strike her gently just to show contempt towards her behaviour. by the way, you’d have to realise that the quran wasnt written in engliish language, therefore the word “strike” may sound violent in english; but actually in arabic and the context in which it appeared, it means hitting very gently. it is also a rule in islam to not strike(if you must) your spouses on the face, and whenever you must hit, then hit without causing any bodily harm. so when you look at it, is that really beating? i dont think so.

          on your third paragraph, yes ofcourse! a man gets twice the share of a woman; because in islam, the man must provide for himself and his spouse and children, while the woman was not given any responsibilty to cater for anybody except herself. her share belongs to her, and her alone; except she wants to share it with others.. but it is not obligated on her. so it makes sense that a man should be given double share.