Canada: Muslim Women Thrive in Hijab


At age 12, Ramzah Khan made a bold decision to don a traditional Muslim head scarf. She was nervous, uncertain how her friends would react to her wearing a hijab.

Five years later, the 17-year-old Calgary high school student says that decision defined who she is today -- a vibrant, confident, outgoing young woman.

"It has made me a stronger person," says Khan.

The sense of identity Khan derives from wearing cultural clothing will serve her well into the future, according to a new British study.

"It has made me realize that looks aren't everything. It has made me look beyond that, even with other people," says Khan, a Canadian-born Muslim whose parents hail from Pakistan.

The sense of identity Khan derives from wearing cultural clothing will serve her well into the future, according to a new British study.

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers found that adolescent girls who express their ethnic identity through clothing experience mental well-being as a result.

Their male counterparts, meantime, fare best when they choose mainstream clothes, according to the study.

It showed that Bangladeshi girls who wore traditional clothing on a daily basis experienced one-tenth the risk of mental illness two years later as those who mixed mainstream clothing into their wardrobes.

 


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