Barbara Walters of Television’s 20/20 did a story on gender roles in
Kabul, Afganistan, several years before the Afgan conflict. She noted
that women customarily walked 5 paces behind their husbands. She
recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind
their husbands. From Ms Walter’s vantage point, despite the overthrow
of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women now seem to walk even
further back behind their husbands and are happy to maintain the old custom.
Mr Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, “Why do you
now seem happy with the old custom that you once tried so desperately to
change?
The woman looked Ms. Walters straight in the eyes, and without
hesitation, said, “Land mines.”

Ten days to go, time to get the word out. I have already passed the obstacle of my husband, who I had originally feared would see it as an insult to his beliefs, but actually he was more interested in the technical side of blogging, so now the rest of the world.
During last nights work shift I dropped it into conversation.
“So you have to walk behind your husband?” asked a co-worker.
Oh dear.
I guess I can’t really blame co-workers with little to no experience in Islam to confuse culture and the religion when I have seen many Muslims do the same. Things like female genital mutilation and women not being allowed to drive do not represent Islam, it represents a country.
I for one will not be walking behind my husband unless window shopping (a woman’s right).

“Can you get fired for covering your face?”
I am by no means an expert in Islam, but face covering (naqab/burka) is a hot topic on certain groups I’ve been on. I have read all the sides of the argument- from those who wear it and think it is compulsory, those who wear it just because they wish to, those who just wear a hijab (head scarf) and Muslims who do not cover at all. I have read the Quran passages about a woman’s clothes and have come to the conclusion that covering your face is not in Islam.

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms…” [Abdullah Yusuf Ali]

Phew.
However, I will cover my hair. I’m not a complete novice in this, in Egypt I sometimes wear a hijab to get less hassle, and during the winter in England I wore it a couple of times as it keeps my head, ears and neck warm (suits me better than earmuffs).

My parents are abroad so I get to put off that conversation for a little bit longer. My dad is easy going and will probably think the thing on my head is some sort of new celeb fad, but my mum… oh dear my mum…

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