The Muslim women athletes across the world face several challenges one of which is the severe lack of modest sportswear to compete on global platforms. For years, there has been a struggle with authorities to allow religious head gears for international competitions.
That is all set to change with sportswear major Nike which is all set to launch the Pro Hijab for women athletes who want to have the freedom to wear the head scarf during sporting events. On International Women’s day, the sportswear giant announced that they would be launching the product in spring 2018. Nike was influenced after watching Saudi Arabian runner Sarah Attar compete at the London Olympics, a statement issued by the company said.
For years, hijabi women have been faced the issues of discrimination and ban from participating on the world stage for their choice. Apart from that, there is also an issue of comfort. The head gear can shift and slip leaving sportswomen in discomfort and fabrics that have been used so far are often not breatheable.
Can't believe this is finally here!! I'm super super excited to announce the Nike Pro Hijab !! So proud to be part of this incredible journey #nikewomen #girlpower #Repost @vivienneballa with @repostapp ・・・ New Nike 'Pro Hijab' campaign out today. Featuring Zahra Lari _____________ #nike #nikewomen #campaign #prohijab #hijab #justdoit _____________ : @viviennesballa
All these issues inspired Nike for the project with inputs of Emirati Olympic weightlifting athlete Amna Al Haddad. With a powerhouse like Nike entering the market it is indeed a giant leap in the field. It will also mean an increase in representation of Muslim women in advertisements and features.
What will they say about you?
Maybe they'll say you showed them what's possible. #justdoit pic.twitter.com/NZbQLC1JuB
— Nike Middle East (@NikeMiddleEast) February 18, 2017
It is not as if Nike is the first to address the issues. Aforementioned Sarah Attar’s uniform at the 2012 Olympics was designed by Oiselle, an Oregon based company. Other sportswear companies like Hummel in Denmark, Capsters in the Netherlands and Friniggi in Botswana have been designing uniforms aimed at Muslim women and promoting sports in women athletes all over the world. Nike’s entry into the segment will only propagate sports further. After all, choice matters.