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‘Please stop telling us how to dress’, Malala defends women’s choice of dressing

‘Please stop telling us how to dress’, Malala defends women’s choice of dressing in her latest article.

“Years ago I spoke against the Taliban forcing women in my community to wear burqas – and last month I spoke against Indian authorities forcing girls to remove their hijabs at school. These aren’t contradictions – both cases involve objectifying women. If someone forces me to cover my head, I will protest. If someone forces me to remove my scarf, I will protest,” says Malala.

She went on to say, “Whether a woman chooses a burqa or a bikini, she has the right to decide for herself. Come and talk to us about individual freedom and autonomy, about preventing harm and violence, about education and emancipation. Do not come with your wardrobe notes.”

Addressing criticism on her dressing, the world’s youngest Noble prize laureate writes:

“They criticised me for being too Western and claimed I had abandoned Pakistan and Islam. Some said the jeans were permissible as long as I kept my scarf on.

“Others said my scarf was a symbol of oppression and I should take it off as if I could not be fully emancipated until I erased all traces of my ethnicity and faith,” she added.

“I said nothing. I felt no obligation to defend myself or meet anyone’s expectations of me.”

The rights activist concluded her article on a note that someday she might make changes to her wardrobe or she also might not.

“Exploring and understanding clothing will remain part of my life, as will defending every woman’s right to determine what she wears. I love my patterned, floral shalwar kameez. I love my jeans too. And I am proud of my scarves,” she concluded.

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