Nike Pro Hijabs Promote Inclusion and Equality

Nike's new hijab for athletic activity.

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

Nike's new hijab for athletic activity.

By Nora Holland, Contest Manager

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Earlier this week, Nike released the ‘Pro Hijab,’ athletic hijabs for Muslim women.

Set to come out in the spring of 2018, the new hijabs are made with breathable, light polyester so that Muslim women can wear a version of their traditional headscarves more fit for athletics. By releasing this line of hijabs, Nike is empowering women as well as embracing diversity in athletics.

The hijabs will come in several different colors with a long back so it will not come untucked while being worn. While the hijab was being developed, it was tested by several muslim athletes including figure skater Zahra Lari and weight lifter Amna Al Haddad.

The cotton of tradition hijabs can be unsuitable for certain sports and athletic activities. Creating a hijab that makes it easier for Muslim women to participate in sports is an amazing advance towards equality; a person should not have to alter their culture or religious beliefs to pursue what they are passionate in.

This line of athletic wear encourages people, especially impressionable teens, to be proud of their backgrounds and embrace their beliefs. Teens who wear hijabs that participate in sports inside or outside of school are shown by this line that culture is a big part of a person and different is good.

According to a New York Times July 2016 article, the number of female athletes in the Middle East are growing; 158 women from 16 different Muslim countries were sent to the London Games recently.

With the increase in female athletes in the Middle East, it is about time that athletic gear is made to include Muslim women. More and more Muslim women are being sent to compete in different sports, and for a long time no major companies made anything ideal for these women to wear in competitions. 

There are so many Muslim women who participate in sports that Nike should have released this line a long time ago. No matter how important and revolutionary the Pro Hijab may be, it does not hide the fact that Nike is using the recent developments in the movement for women, refugees and equality to profit. 

However, even if Nike is only trying to gain profit from women who wear hijabs due to culture, religion or preference, they are nonetheless a giant step towards inclusion and strengthen the pro-refugee and pro-Muslim movements happening all over the world.

Hopefully in the future big companies like Nike will continue to create athletic clothing and accessories that cater to different religions and cultures. It is important to make advances like this a pattern; who knows, athletic kippot may be a future invention just waiting to happen.