Is Hijab A Barrier For Working Women? Here’s What You Need To Know…

Hijab and Hijabi
Courtesy: Daily Sabah

Last month, my classmate told me that she got shortlisted for a teaching job in school. Since this was her first professional experience, I was really happy for her. I wished her the best of luck for the interview and motivated her to get prepared. Guess what happened next? She didn’t get selected just because she practice hijab..

Now, I know what you are thinking. It’s not a hard and fast rule to get selected in one go, and she shouldn’t lose hope, bla bla! I agree, of course, but wait till you hear the reason. Although the interviewers were impressed by her achievements, goals, and confidence, they didn’t like the fact that she wore a hijab.

Yes, this incident happened in Pakistan!  

Now Tell Me, Is My Anger Justified?

The first time I got to know about this, I was burning with rage. I took my time getting over such stupidity. I thought just because it happened once doesn’t mean it will happen again. God damn it, I was wrong! 

This is the part where I am going nuts. I came across similar cases in different facebook groups. Just to be clear, I am not particularly talking about the line of teaching. Even if women are applying for regular office jobs, they are being rejected for their ‘ultra modest get-up’. 

The funny thing is, the management often tries to convince the working ladies to change their attire by offering pick and drop service or showing them how golden this opportunity is. I mean, they are the one putting pointless conditions. They are deliberately missing a golden chance to work with someone deserving. If I put it simply, it’s their loss – a big one!

What Happens Next?

If you are still with me, you definitely don’t agree with the anti-hijab policy (I am sorry, but that’s the bitter reality). Cool, it’s good to know that we are on the same page. Before I hit you with the pointers to tackle this prevailing situation, let’s discuss why people choose to behave this way.

  • It’s one of the ways to get students to like you

That’s pretty lame, but people do have such mentality. I am not gonna lie, teachers should look presentable for sure. However, there is a fine line in between looking presentable and changing your entire attire for the sake of your job.

A smart thing to do is go for lively colors and be playful with students. Presentation matters, and so does your behavior. Only well-behaved teachers can raise well-behaved students. Schools should hire teachers who are capable of teaching good, regardless of how they choose to carry themselves. It’s the 21st century, isn’t it? 

There is a good chance of increased sales if the salesgirl is wearing dark lipstick

Again, a very cheap move. You think your product doesn’t stand a chance, otherwise? Looks could be deceiving. There are other effective ways to attract a customer to your product. You have to be good with advertisement, quality, and taglines. The salesperson should know how to convince the customers through the power of words. Now, that’s a real talent!

The Problem is not in Hijab, The Problem is Within us 

Even though I have only discussed two scenarios, I hope you get an overall picture of what I am talking about. We are setting wrong boundaries for what accomplishment is. We have only taken a western approach towards dressing, but in the craze, we have chosen to ignore their work ethics and professionalism. 

So what does all this mean? You don’t have to worry about your presentation as long as you are keeping your get-up professional. In case you don’t know about professional dresses, make-up, and hair-do, you can take help from google. There is a wide variety you can choose from. 

Let’s recap

No matter what they say, wearing a hijab or not shouldn’t define your position as a teacher, officer, writer, and the list goes on. It’s your choice to make. Always. Don’t let the profession fool you.

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Faiza Rizvi, currently pursuing her Bachelor's in Space Science and Technology, is a self-driven and committed individual. She has a passion for content writing that motivates her to bring creativity and expression to the table. She has previously worked at Easycontentguru, a home-based platform for writers. She has also interned at various content writing firms, which makes her a remarkable asset to any team. She commits herself to all relevant social issues that exist today, especially where she feels the need of societal attention. She also maintains a healthy balance in her portfolio by keeping up-to-date with lifestyle, entertainment, and health.