The Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN) has called for a law to stop discrimination against women and girls who wear hijab.
The National Amirah of FOMWAN, Halima Jibril, who made the call in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja.Jibril expressed the belief that such a law, to be enacted by the National Assembly, would provide safe places for all women and girls to thrive in the name of equity.
The release issued by the Public Relation Officer of the association, Dr Summayah Hamza, urged government and its agencies to be responsive to the rights of citizens in a pluralistic system.
According to Jibril, there is need for government to look at the issue of hijab with a rights perspective and within the provisions of the constitution. She also advised the government to emulate countries with Muslim minorities, who have amended their policies to accommodate the hijab as a strategy to promote the participation of women in social and economic development in their chosen profession.
The National Amirah, however, enjoined Muslims, including those whose rights have been violated, to seek redress through legal means while assuring that FOMWAN would continue to articulate and advocate for the rights of Muslim women, not only on the hijab but on their rights to education and inclusiveness in governance.
She appealed to the Federal and States Ministry of Education to allow for an alternative school uniform for those who need it as a matter of religious obligation without any harm to the school system and learning.
According to her, evidence abounds in the last two years that hijab is not a hindrance to the attainment of academic excellence.
“Hijab-wearing female students across universities in Nigeria have come out tops in their various fields of study, including the sciences. FOMWAN calls on all interfaith platforms to collaborate to end the prejudice and stereotyping associated with the hijab among their members by creating a ‘live and let live’ environment for all, irrespective of religious belief. Hijab is practically harmless to people of other faith as it only seeks to promote the fear of Allah and decency in the society. We wish all Muslims a World Hijab Day 2021 that promotes reflection and action, which eradicates the hijab phobia while opening up more spaces and opportunities for Muslim women and girls in the Nigerian project,’’ Jibril said in the statement.
World Hijab Day (WHD) is an annual event in its 9th year. On February 1st of every year, World Hijab Day Organization asks global citizens of all faiths and backgrounds to wear the Hijab (head-covering) for a day in solidarity with Muslim women worldwide.
The tag line for World Hijab Day 2021 is, “Don’t let our pride be your prejudice” with the hashtag #EndHijabophobia.
The overall mission of WHD is to create a more peaceful world where global citizens respect each other. Particularly, WHD focuses on fighting bigotry, discrimination, and prejudice against Muslim women.