Padilla wants Feb. 1 observed as National Hijab Day
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Robin Padilla has filed a bill seeking the observance of a National Hijab Day in the country.
In Padilla’s bill, the observance of the National Hijab Day will be every February 1. This date coincides with the observance of World Hijab Day which started in 2013 in recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab or a headscarf and live a life of modesty.
World Hijab Day is the brainchild of New York resident Nazma Khan. World Hijab Day aims to foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting non Muslim women to experience wearing the hijab for one day.
Padilla said Senate Bill 1272 seeks to recognize Muslim women in the Philippines and all over the world who wear the hijab.
Under the bill, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos will be the lead agency for the celebration of National Hijab Day in coordination with the Bangsamoro Women Commission.
“It is our aim to declare the first day of February of every year as National Hijab Day to recognize the millions of Muslim women around the world, and in the Philippines especially, who choose to wear the hijab and embody a life of modesty,” Padilla, a Muslim revert, said in a statement on Saturday.
Padilla also said the bill aims to “foster cultural understanding and inclusivity in our country” while countering the “colonial mentality” that the hijab symbolizes the oppression of women.
“Stereotypical representations lead to misconceptions and one-dimensional view that Muslim women are powerless and oppressed,” Padilla said.
He also noted recent controversies in different parts of the world involving the hijab: from hijab-clad women being denied entry in school grounds to reports of Muslim women getting assaulted for wearing the garment.
“Domestically, Filipino Muslim women are no strangers to these challenges,” the Senator said.
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