Now in its fourth year, World Hijab Day celebrates the rights and choices of Muslim women around the world to cover up their hair and adopt a modest dress code. Founded in 2013 by Nazma Khan, ladies of all faiths and ethnicities are encouraged to wear the hijab on February 1st to show solidarity with those of Islamic faith and experience first-hand how it feels to cover their hair.
In recent years hijabi women have broken new grounds in the world of fashion with many designers taking note of Islamic dresscodes and creating collections with the Arab region in mind. Last year, Dolce & Gabbana even introduced a line of hijabs and abayas for their Muslim clientele and Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan became the first brand to send models down the catwalk at New York Fashion Week wearing hijabs. 2016 also saw the first Muslim woman on the cover of a Western fitness magazine as athlete Rahaf Khatib, who recently visited the UAE, made history as she posed on the front of Women's Running.
One of the first brands to use a hijabi woman in their campaigns was American cosmetics company CoverGirl, who named Muslim blogger Nura Afia as one of their ambassadors and the face of their So Lashy! BlastPro Mascara last year to much global applause. In an interview with Refinery29, Nura explained how much the decision meant to her as she felt insecure in her hijab as a young girl. "I never thought I would see Muslim women represented on such a large scale. I hope this campaign will show Muslim women that brands care about us as consumers and we're important, especially hijabis. We can be featured on TV, can be featured on billboards in Times Square, can be represented."
Now more than ever the movement is in need of support as the recent US travel sanctions affect those of Islamic faith and women around the world are encouraged to upload a photo of themselves supporting the cause with the hashtag #WorldHijabDay to show their solidarity.