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Arwa Hussain:
My inspiration

A woman wearing a green hijab and traditional Pakistani clothing stands at a wooden podium in front of a group of eighteen women seated on the ground of a large room with beige walls and brown floor. The women on the floor are all wearing blue hijabs except for one woman in the center who is wearing yellow. Arwa Hussain conducting a workshop at a community university in Karachi, Pakistan. Photo credit: Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah University.

Why do women's choices to live religious lives need to be understood and what role has social media played in shaping this choice?

When I came of age to wear the rida, a religious hijab unique to my community, my mother gave me a choice. Not if I would wear it, but whether I would wear it to school. My mother knew that for a young, introverted girl, a visibly different dress would be a challenge. My choice is one I make repeatedly. That choice is an anathema to many who think that women who wear the veil and adopt religion are coerced into it. My research is inspired by a need to show that women have different ways of being in this world.

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