MADRID – With cries of “the headscarf is oppression, Taliban, bastard” and “the headscarf is not my identity”, the Collective of Secular Women from Islamic Contexts made a strong statement at the 8M feminist rally in MADRID.
The women then burned all their headscarves and hijabs during the gathering to mark International Women’s Day, which is held annually on March 8. The demonstration was one of two marches to take place in the capital. Participants of the other manifestation oppose the trans law. The group of women, originally from Islamic countries, protested against the ‘imposition’ of the headscarf and the oppression that Islam imposes on women.
El velo es opresión, no es identidad. Por la libertad de las mujeres, #FeministasEnLucha #8MarzoAbolicionista pic.twitter.com/d8BHKd0R5x
— Movimiento Feminista de Madrid (@MovFemMad) March 8, 2023
In a daring action, the women set fire to several headscarves and hijabs in the middle of the street. Fearing to be recognised, the women hid their faces behind masks to avoid possible reprisals from the world of Islam.
Their protest is part of the global ‘Hijab Revolution’ that followed the death of Mahsa Amini. This Iranian woman died under mysterious circumstances after being arrested for not wearing her hijab properly. The echoes of her death and subsequent protests even reached the World Cup in Qatar. There, the Iranian team refused to sing their national anthem in solidarity.
“Headscarf is not a symbol of freedom”
The bold action of the women of Madrid adds to the growing chorus of voices calling for an end to the oppression of women in Islamic societies. Their message is clear: the veil is not a symbol of freedom. Instead, it is an instrument of oppression that must be rejected.