Giving women real choices

12 Apr, 2019
Giving women real choices

Women should have the right to choose what they put on - whether it's wearing a veil for religious reasons or a bikini at the swimming pool.

This is the opinion of Associate Professor Sharyn Graham Davies, who has spoken out in defence of both this month.

In an article on Stuff, Dr Davies explained why she wore a headscarf to show support for her Muslim friends and whānau in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre.

Although the veil was a tool of oppression in some countries, it wasn't in New Zealand and nobody who chose to wear one in the show of solidarity were telling Muslim women how they should dress, she said

"All my Kiwi Muslim friends who veil choose it in every bit as conscious and deliberate a way as I choose to wear a dress and not a bikini, and we should honour that choice."

A few days later, Dr Davies defended a woman who was asked to cover up her bikini at an Auckland swimming pool.

"There are probably restrictions on wearing too much clothing at swimming pools and now it seems there are also restrictions on wearing too little clothing," she told Radio New Zealand.

"And this applies to women much more stringently than it ever applies to men - they have much more leeway in terms of how much and how little of their flesh that they cover."

Sharyn Graham Davies is an Associate Professor of Social Sciences at Auckland University of Technology. Her research looks at gender and sexuality in Indonesia.

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