Delhi Poetry Slam has released a spoken word video of a woman. Zainab Rashid is an ordinary girl and is a third-year student at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. She finishes her assignments on time, prepares for her semester exams well in advance and enjoys going to poetry readings in her free time.
Zainab is Muslim. And yes, she chooses to wear the burqa uninhibitedly. This video will change your perception about burqa and women’s oppression. Indeed, wearing the burqa is a free choice exercised by Muslim women around the world and they should not be judged for it. More power to you, Zainab!
The world’s perception of a burqa-clad woman is that she is controlled, oppressed and has no say in her life. However, this a media generated an image to promote Islamophobia and discriminate against women who choose to wear the burqa. Media constantly talks about how women belonging to the Islamic faith are forced to wear the burqa. Women who cover their heads are considered oppressed, but that is far from the reality. This is simply an image created to make Islam seem like an orthodox religion. We, as people, should always question the truth.
Isn’t it funny? A woman who chooses to fully cover her body is considered oppressed by the society. And then, a woman who wears short skirts is slut-shamed. What is this obsession with the need to judge a woman’s character? We must move beyond labels and judgement.
So when Zainab says, “I am still a woman, defined as I want to be, worded as I choose to write,” we cannot agree with her more.