What is World Hijab Day (WHD)?
The word “Hijab” is used to describe the head coverings worn by Muslim women. Many Muslim women wear the hijab for a variety of different reasons: to show piety, to please God, to show their Muslim identity, to practice modesty, etc.
Many Muslim women who wear the hijab experience discrimination in the workplace due to negative misconceptions about the hijab. For example, Muslim women may experience harassment, be denied job opportunities or dismissed from organisations for practicing their faith due to biased or discriminatory policies.
To combat this bias World Hijab Day invites everyone to encourage religious tolerance, cultural understanding and international solidarity with Muslim women.
When is World Hijab Day
World Hijab Day takes place on 1 February every year
How it all began
Nazma Khan launched World Hijab Day in 2013 after realising she was far from alone in facing prejudice simply because she chose to cover her hair.
She travelled to the United States from Bangladesh with her family at the age of 11.She began to wear the hijab soon after moving, and said she had faced intolerance from some since that point.
World Hijab Day is a good example of why such “Days” matter.
They are a time to raise awareness and think about topics on a deeper level.
Conversations about the Hijab can be complicated at a societal and personal level. How, why/why not and when someone wears a Hijab are often in focus.
Importantly, today highlights that, for many wearing the Hijab is an act of personal freedom and self-expression.
Senior Inclusion and Diversity Consultant
"For most Muslim women who choose to wear hijab, it is our own deeply personal choice. In ironic contrast to when its application is misused, when we have autonomy over our bodies, this choice brings its own liberation. Discrimination often comes when people treat groups as a stereotype; to counter this it’s important to remember that hijab is a profound expression of identity, and this will be unique to every woman.”
How to celebrate World Hijab Day in the workplace
There are numerous ways to commemorate World Hijab Day at work, including:
- Organising or attending training and webinars about Religion and multicultural dimension in the workplace
- Learning from Muslim women
- Explore resources on how to support Muslim colleagues
- Support women who would like to tell their hijab story
- Announce your involvement with World Hijab Day on social media and other communication channels