Solidarity in Struggle
There is a constant effort to control women and their choices. The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, overturning the landmark 1973 decision affirming abortion as a constitutional right. The right to choose whether and when to have children is essential to women's socioeconomic development and health. Yet, women's equality has been undermined by the Supreme Court, which has eliminated a right that has been an essential part of their liberty for half a century.
Muslim women have been fighting for their human rights all over the world. Whether they live in an Islamic country or not, they are subject to discrimination and violence. Iranian women are currently protesting in Iran after the death of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Mahsa was apprehended by the morality police for not wearing the hijab properly in accordance with government standards and was told she was going to be taken to a "re-education center." Mahsa died in a hospital under suspicious circumstances due to police brutality according to witnesses.
Demonstrations have taken place in 40 cities nationwide including the capital Tehran with protesters demanding an end to violence and discrimination against women as well as an end to compulsory wearing of the hijab. The policing, harassment, and loss of agency of women is not limited to Iran and USA.
The sharp rise in Islamophobia in Europe has led to a ban on headscarves, face veils, and other items of clothing worn by Muslim women. In 2021 the European Union court ruled that companies may ban Muslim employees from wearing headscarves when certain conditions are met. At the beginning of 2022 French lawmakers voted to ban women and girls from wearing hijab while playing sports. The world has once again shown how European Muslim women are not entitled to the same rights as other women.
The right of women to decide what they should wear and not wear, as well as their reproductive health, is fundamental to the right to gender equality and religious freedom for women. Throughout the world, women should not only advocate for ways to enforce the laws that protect us, but also be involved in creating those laws.
The struggles of all women around the world are our struggles: what happens to one of us happens to all of us. Our fight must be united because of this.