The ‘hijab’ is a very complicated piece of cloth. Since its inception a few millennia ago it had carried with it many meanings. It was an expression of male dominance, an act of religious piety, a manifestation of female oppression, a limitation to a female’s power of seduction, an icon of cultural pride, a slogan of resistance to colonialism imperialism and globalization, an indicator of a worthy wife, an evasion of feminine competition, a marker of otherness and a discouragement to harassers. Different meanings constructed in different epochs for different social and political reasons by different actors with different motivations.
A man in a hijab
A brief history of the hijab
The hijab also developed more mundane pragmatic meanings. Power and politics are not in the top of mind of many women who wear the hijab. Most women are not even aware of its original and new social/political meaningsAbdullah Hamidaddin