Encouraging Freedom and Choice this #WorldHijabDay
#WorldHijabDay falls on February 1st of every year, recognising and encouraging people of all faiths to learn more about the hijab, what it stands for, and most importantly, to support the right of women everywhere to make their own choices. The hijab is more than a mere piece of material, it represents a personal and profound decision to embrace one’s identity and faith. It is a representation of personal modesty and religious expression and should be celebrated in every aspect of life.
Here at Penny Appeal, we’re passionate about valuing and respecting the diversity of our workforce. We empower the women in our teams who choose to wear the hijab, starting at the very top! Our CEO, Ridwana Wallace-Laher, is a proud wearer of the hijab, describing it as a ‘blessing’ and giving her ‘freedom’ adding that women who wear the hijab are ‘beautiful and empowering and deserve to be celebrated not just on World Hijab Day, but every day.’ And we couldn’t agree more.
As the first woman to be appointed CEO of a British major Muslim charity, and a proud wearer of the hijab, Ridwana often speaks of the importance of challenging stereotypes and working together to make progress for all women who choose to wear the hijab. Ridwana expressed that collectively we must confront the stigma attached to the hijab, stating: ‘many people think the hijab is oppressive to women, but I am proof that it is an empowering piece of clothing that demands respect and admiration. It’s a sign of strength and identity.’
In true spirit of World Hijab Day 2024, we caught up with some of our inspirational team members about their choice to adopt the hijab every day.
Our Superstar Fundraiser, Fiza, said: ‘April will mark my one-year anniversary of wearing the hijab. My hijab is a constant reminder of Allah (SWT) and that life on this earth is only temporary. The hijab has created a sense of freedom from what society expects women in particular to look like.’
Support Centre Whiz, Amrin, said: ‘everyone ensures their precious jewels are kept safe, and I believe that my hijab is that 'safe' for the precious gift of beauty God has gifted us women with. The hijab is more than a piece of cloth, it is my identity, and I proudly say, my hijab covers my head, not my brain, which makes me no inferior to any other professional out there.’
On this year’s #WorldHijabDay, let us all come together to celebrate the strength that comes with making our own choices and having the freedom and opportunity to do so in every walk of life. Whether our sisters choose to adopt the hijab or not, we support and empower them all equally. We encourage all our colleagues, volunteers, friends, and neighbours to express their true selves every day and support one another in their choices. However you’re celebrating #WorldHijabDay2024, we hope you take a moment to reflect on the theme of freedom and choice.
THURSDAY 1 FEB 2024