Women in Hijab are often considered to be oppressed, backward , coming from third world .Some people think of them as too conservative,are even suspicious of them as if they belong to radical Islamist and some pity them over being oppressed.
Many muslim women do not choose to wear a Hijab because they do not want to be stereotyped, otherwise given a choice they will wear it.
Different people have their own stereotype about Hijab, but most common thought is oppression , How can covering one’s hair or body makes he/she oppressed ? or How can exposing your body make you liberated ?
I do not deny that there are some men forcing women to wear Burqa/Niqab , and forcing some one to do something outside his own will is oppression, but here the oppressor is not niqab or hijab , the suppressor is lack of awareness of Islam, lack of education,male domination among those males who only learnt to look muslims from outside but never knew how a true muslim should behave.
The women today who are choosing to wear hijab are educated , working and having a normal social life , so there is no point of being oppressed. The respect of their choice should be in similar way as of any other woman who chose to wear shorts or red hair or blue hair , or go bald and still be recognized as bold ?, Is a Woman with Hijab not bold ? She is still putting it even after all the stereotypes, and facing the questioning doubtful eyes of people .
It is strange how we think today, we are talking about gender equality , women’s rights, we are even accepting same-sex marriages but not a woman in Hijab.
Short clothes or long clothes it is entirely her choice, there should not be an opinion about a person based on what he/she choose to wear .
There are women who are oppressed in every society , we need to work on root causes, wearing or not wearing certain clothes cannot make you liberated from those evils .
We are all prisoners of our own mentality, until we do not fix it , we can not experience true freedom!
In my opinion the urban working women is more oppressed than rural ones , her oppression is more on inside , She wears best clothes, work in best companies , she earns well , she has everything to say from outside that she is independent and free .
But is she really free ?
A lot of young women are going through depression,anxiety ,stress mainly because of issues at home and pressure at work. She is dependent on her husband or his parents for everything, She cannot cook what she wants, cannot sleep when she wants, what she earns also does not belong to her anymore ! Some of in-laws allow them to wear western wear just to show off to people how open-minded they are.
Is this ,what she has worked hard for /striven for in her life? She prefer to stay mum to keep up her image of free woman .
Do you still think she is a liberated woman if you think a woman in hijab is not ?
We can never be truly liberated until we work together to remove these social evils from our lives! I hope the generation of tomorrow will have real free women , the responsibility lies on all of us, to make sure that we teach our sons to respect women and how we will(future mother in-laws) treat their wives!
P.S : There are always nice exceptions and I am proud of such men and parents who give freedom to their daughter in-laws equally like their own daughters.
I am only raising awareness about Hijab and concern over hidden issues in our society than the ones which are visible on outside world.