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Anti-oppressive Practice in Social Work with Women Wearing Hijab

Version 2 2024-06-03, 08:07
Version 1 2023-04-21, 04:55
chapter
posted on 2024-06-03, 08:07 authored by Rojan Afrouz, Beth CrispBeth Crisp
AbstractReligious beliefs are central to the identity of many people, often signalled by their physical appearance, for example, clothing, hair or jewellery. If prevented from such a form of self-expression, some take action against what they consider a contravention of their human rights. The predominance of this discourse can obscure the possibility that there are others who are forced to signal a religious viewpoint which they may not subscribe to. This chapter explores the wearing of hijab by Afghan women who have lived in Australia less than 10 years. While some choose to wear hijab, there were others who spoke of being forced to wear hijab as a form of domestic violence. Furthermore, whereas for some, not wearing hijab represents a freedom to dress in accordance with their understandings of Australia as a secular society, a few felt that wearing clothes which marked them as Islamic increased the likelihood of attracting xenophobia and discrimination. Hence, for many women, decisions around hijab represented compromise between the demands of their family, the Afghan community and the wider Australian society, rather than a free choice. Consequently, if social workers assume women’s religious beliefs and identity are congruent with their appearance they may inadvertently be contributing to women’s oppression. As such, this chapter explores notions of anti-oppressive practice when working with Muslim women living in non-Muslim majority countries, particularly in respect of dress codes which are associated with Islam.

History

Volume

9

Chapter number

Part III

Pagination

203-218

ISSN

2452-1361

eISSN

2543-053X

ISBN-13

9783030958794

Language

English

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Editor/Contributor(s)

Schmid H, Sheikhzadegan A

Publisher

Springer International Publishing

Place of publication

Cham, Switzerland

Title of book

Exploring Islamic Social Work

Series

Muslims in Global Societies Series book series

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