“Disparition” by Yemeni photographer Bushra Almutawakel
Source: http://bit.ly/PTgcw0

“A Yemeni photographer illustrates how women could vanish into darkness and invisibility, step by step, under fundamentalist pressure and the full niqab.”

No offence to any culture – I have a great respect to different culture and a very high degree of culture sensibility. Nevertheless, I have to say what I feel, even last weekend, I was looking at a mother with three young kids, who is wearing similar niqab second to the last pic, having french fries and Coke at a shopping mall in Dubai, and I see how difficult she has to struggle to feed herself and to her children – every single bite she has to vow her head a little bit, touch fries with ketchup, lift it up her facial cover a little bit, while holding the end of cloth with one hand without being exposed any part of her face, trying to pull fries into the month with the other hand, then pulling down the cover back. I can’t help not to feel pity for her. It is unnecessary burden she has to take. Even if you think the photographer’s view is exaggeration, one thing what you can not deny is by forcing women to cover their body fully, without letting them decide what they want for their lives and how they want to cover their body, the world for women has not moved forward yet. It is needless to say that it is not “Dispairtion” if you can’t fight even for that.

I wish all women should be given the rights to choose clothing in which they are comfortable, and rights to decide which part of their own body they want to expose or cover, and manage how they want to express themselves. They also should have absolute freedom to decide by themselves what is best for them, not being told and not being forced to follow what others say best for them.

Some people may argue that some women are just comfortable with the way they are in it. You just can’t claim it until and unless they are given a free access to good education, freedom and security to be able to question over their practices.

For men, I’m not just saying for men in Arab culture but also men in every culture, if they want to protect women, all they have to do is respect women. RESPECT WOMEN! That is. That’s all you have to do, and if you can’t, don’t try to change the rules for women. Just practice yourself because that’s your own problem – women have nothing to do with your issues. Respect Women. Period.


About Wai Phyo Myint

Wai Phyo Myint is a senior at Green Mountain College, majoring in Political Journalism. She is now in Cambodia doing her senior studies and volunteering as an Communications/Advocacy strategy intern with International Labour Organiations in Phnom Penh.
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