Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Matter of Choice

An Afghan woman and child in
Parwan Province, Afghanistan.
Photo by Sgt. Sean A. Terry, USA
I recently had a conversation with my children about women covering themselves, after we saw a woman who wore a head covering. My 5 year old daughter wanted to know why the woman's head was covered, and we discussed the fact that some religions require women to cover their heads or bodies so that others do not see them.

The next question to follow was whether or not the woman had chosen to cover her head or whether someone had made her do it.

This brought about a very insightful discussion about women's rights, and human rights in general. Some women choose to cover themselves based on their beliefs. Others are forced to cover themselves or suffer persecution. The distinction between the two - freedom and oppression - is clear; it's a simple matter of choice.

The choice to cover oneself, including covering when breastfeeding, is a personal choice. Women who choose to cover do so out of personal preference based on their beliefs. To tell tell others that they should cover themselves is an attempt at oppression, whether the cover is meant for the woman's head or her child's.

We are honored to host a guest post today from Mandy. Mandy is an unschooling mom of 4 and advocate of consensual living. You can normally find her at Living Peacefully with Children, where she blogs about parenting, simple living, and human rights.


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