Few subjects have been as polarising within mainstream and feminist discourse as the niqab. If a defining aspect of feminism is a woman’s agency, should we support those who wish to cover? Or is the garment a form of oppression and a symbol of the patriarchy? To examine the various viewpoints to this debate, we’ve gathered a panel of journalists, feminists, and advocates: Sahar Al-Faifi, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, and Saima Mir.
This discussion will reflect on the niqab’s role in today’s society, and whether Western feminism does—or should—acknowledge, support, and represent niqabi women.