So lately in Denmark there is a debate going on about social control, when the real problem is discrimination in the job market. In Denmark women with hijab have to apply to 60 percent more jobs than one without.
Yep, 60 percent more.
And our dear politicians focus is; social control, which is not even that big of a problem in our society.
I am against social control and haven’t seen it in my circle, but apparently it’s okay for politicians to make up something as long as it is against Muslims …
“What? How is that possible?!”
So me, being me. I can’t be put in one box alone.
I have always had this entrepreneurmindset for as long as I remember. Lucky me, my family has always been supportive.
Just like most of the non-Muslim and Muslim parents out there.
Often when I meet new people, they are surprised by my achievements at a young age.
(I still don’t feel I have done anything special, but let us take that up at another time.)
Hijab vs non
So when I started my first company at the age of 21, it was without hijab, back in 2013.
Trying to do something good for my business and the community I meet with many people.
A lot of them are amazing.
Everyone from boys from so called “ghettos” to successful entrepreneurs and CEOs.
People were surprised when they found out my age but … not as surprised as when I decided to put on my hijab.
I noticed a difference in people’s reactions to me being an entrepreneur.
Without hijab: Utterly amazement and recognition.
With hijab: Surprise, amazement and recognition.
Putting on my hijab made such a difference.
I know, all those people meant it well and they didn’t have any bad intentions, but we have a distorted picture of women with hijab.
So much, that when one of us stands out, it becomes such a surprise, that it is all over their faces and body language.
It shouldn’t be.
Women in hijab are in every field all over the world. Be it in the police, military, medical field, business, entrepreneurs, sports etc.
How come it becomes such a surprise in Denmark, when one of us is excelling at something?
I recently took up boxing and was looking for boxing gloves to try, before buying them. Therefore, I went into a store that sells sportswear.
Keep in mind, I was wearing a maxi dress, my hijab and a leatherjacket. I didn’t want to waste time walking around in the store to look for the gloves myself, so I went straight to the cashier.
I waited for my turn.
I went to him, asking him if they had boxing gloves.
He looked at me as if I was from Mars.
He kindly said no but the surprise was all over his face.
My sister, who was with me and I had a good laugh out of it, as we were driving home.
The friends I told, did too.
But … the question I am left with is: Why is it such a surprise?
Is it because we have such a distorted picture of Muslim women who wears the hijab? Why is that?
Why is it that especially Muslim women have such a bad image of being weak?
Why is it so unsual that I go to boxing?
In my circle. Most of the relationships I see, is where the women are tougher than the men but still the image we have, is opposite.
Why can’t we accept hijabies to be like normal women?
Why is it that, just because we choose to wear a hijab, we suddenly become less than the rest?
A person is a person.
A woman is a woman.
A man is a man.
It shouldn’t matter how we dress.
It just shouldn’t.
P.S. If you want to follow my boxing, you can check out my Instagram @HafsahbintFarooq