Liberia: Muslim Women Group Craves Government for Freedom to Wear Hijab at Schools, Workplaces

Liberia Muslim Women Network members observing the 4th Annual National Hijab Awareness at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia on February 1, 2019

Monrovia – The Liberia Muslim Women Network (LMW-NET) wants government to create an enabling environment for Muslim women and girls to wear their hijab at all places without intimidation.

Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh, 00231880881540 /00231777769531 [email protected]

At an event marking the 4th national Hijab awareness campaign on February 1, the president Emeritus of LMW-NET, Khadijah Turay noted that the hijab is not only limited to Islamic women, but women of other religions as well.

According to Madam Turay, the veil demonstrates the beauty of modesty and a “complete seal between you and temptation.”

As such, she called on the government to ensure that the Islamic women and female students wear their veils at work places, schools and other public areas without hindrance.

“Some of our children are not allowed to use the hijab at their schools and some of the female nurses are not allowed to use the hijab in their work places. And for those that in public offices and private sector as well. So, we also take this time to call on the Liberian Government to create that space for us. This is Liberia and it belongs to all of us. This too is our religion; let us practice it at our free will,” pleaded Madam Turay.

Also speaking at the program, the President of LMW-NET, Makoma A. F. Donzo called on the women of Liberia to dress modestly to serve as role models for their children and the younger generation.

Donzo added that in the wake of increasing sexual violence including rape that is being perpetrated against women and children, dressing modestly will not only protect women’s dignity, but also protect them from sexual violence and temptation.

She revealed that since its formation in 2015, LMW-NET has been involved with social work and continue to advocate for gender empowerment.

She added that the group has spread across eight counties in Liberia including Montserrado, Bomi, Maryland and Grand Gedeh.

Speaking further, she thanked the government of Liberia for the level of tolerance and called for more to be done to ensure they are always free in wearing their hijabs at all places.

Meanwhile the event was part of activities marking the celebration of World Hijab Day, an annual event founded by Nazma Kahn, a New York resident in 2013 to encourage women of all religions and backgrounds to wear and experience the hijab.

In Liberia, the event held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium was attended by top Muslim clerics and women including government officials.

In brief remarks, the Assistant Minister of Gender, Mamansie Kaba pledged the government’s commitment toward creating an enabling environment for every Liberian to practice their religion. She encouraged both men and women of the Islamic faith in Liberia to use the event as an opportunity to unite the Muslim sect in Liberia.