Hawzah News Agency (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – "Are we not fighting for women, to end discrimination and empower women to have a right to choose?" Amal Annuar, an exco member of the Women's Alliance For Family Institution and Quality Education (Wafiq), asked in a statement today.
"More and more feminists advocate for women to have the right to choose to wear what they want but why is wearing Hijab not part of that fight? It is obvious that there is a discrepancy in their principles of advocacy and empowerment of women."
Annuar was responding to criticism against Opposition lawmakers from PAS and Umno who urged the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to introduce a policy on the use of Hijab at their workplace.
The right of women to wear the Hijab should be protected via policy by the government because it is in line with the Federal Constitution, Rantau Panjang MP Siti Zailah Yusof of PAS said recently.
She was backed by Kuala Kangsar MP Datin Mastura Mohd Yazid, Wanita Umno chief Datuk Noraini Ahmad and othr PAS lawmakers.
"Our airline industry should emulate the Hong Kong national airline Cathay Pacific, which decided to end its 70-year-old skirts-only rule for female uniformed staff and allow them to wear trousers," Annuar said.
"In 2014, Cathay Pacific flight attendants requested a redesign of their uniforms, which as they reported, made them feel more susceptible to sexual harassment, due to the short nature of the skirts."
He said Wafiq wants the government and relevant departments to look into this matter. "We live in a country that upholds Islam as the religion of the federation. Hence, any company's policies must respect the Federal Constitution and allow women the freedom and the rights to wear hijab at their workplace," he said.
"If the dress code policy at a company dictates how women should be dressed and impedes their freedom to choose to wear hijab, how can Muslim women be empowered in Malaysia? Is forcing women to wear clothes which encourage men to ogle at them a form of empowerment?"