The Importance Of Hijab In Qatar Women

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Hijab has been identified as one of the physical activity constraints among the Qatari and other Arabic women (16, 19, 27). Hijab itself make some limitation to physical activity. However, the cultural way of presenting hijab in Qatar and other Gulf countries produce farther restrictions to the adoption of the physical activity behavior. The hijab- related dress and codes of behaviors in Qatar make a clear gender inequality in term of practicing physical activity. Men can engage in physical activity wherever and whenever they want wearing any clothes. However, women’s engagement in physical activity is restricted to specific areas with specific outfit. Most Qatari women are adhering to hijab; they are wearing abayas and shaylas in front of…show more content…
Qatar is not like Saudi Arabia where all women are required by law to wear Abaya; nevertheless, there is a strong social pressure to wear it among Qatari women (18). Abayas were abandoned in the Eighties, however, the adoption of this attire provoked in the late eighties to early nineties as a result of Islamic revivalism to preserve the Muslim identity in a region experiencing rapid modernization and westernization (18, 28, 29). Therefore, abaya became a symbol to identifies Qatari and other Muslim women as an “observant Muslim” (Lindholm (29), p.2). Abaya and shayla also serve as a sign to represent Qatari women as citizens. By wearing the traditional Gulf- based hijab ‘abaya and shayla’, Qatari women feel that their identity is defined and that they are linked to their Qatari and Gulf community (29). Notably, wearing abaya and shayla have many advantages for women. They provide women with greater autonomy, flexibility, respect, dignity and protection (18, 30). They facilitate women movement outside the home, prevent attention directed at them from foreign men, enable them to cross gender boundaries and allow them to slip in the public arenas of social life, including mixed gender settings (18, 30). Nevertheless, a number of Qatari women change their hijab outfit (abaya and shayla) when they travel outside the Gulf countries to avoid being attracted by others (29), they alternatively wear modest clothes to cover body and wear a turban to cover the

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