Question: What’s the quickest way to get Muslim women to stop wearing extremely conservative clothing?
In Mombasa, Kenya, the coastal city’s “twilight ladies” have ditched their skimpy “uniforms” for the much more conservative buibuiâ€”a billowing, ankle-length gown with head covering that Muslim women in the region wear. Sex workers say it lets them hide their identity, avoid arrest, and look respectable.
Unsurprisingly, Muslim women who cover themselves head to toe with the buibui aren’t exactly happy with this fashion makeover. One woman saysâ€ I feel so embarrassed that sometimes I contemplate removing my buibui and throwing it away. The buibui has lost its respect.â€
Who would have thunk it. The defender of Muslim womenâ€™s honor are – prostitutes.
But in addition to being mistaken for a prostitute, there is another reason why Muslim women might want to reconsider covering themselves head to toe. It may be bad for their health.
Conservative Muslim dress codes may be causing vitamin D deficiency in women by limiting their exposure to sunlight, humans’ main source for the vitamin, according to new research.
Scientists had previously found high rates of vitamin D deficiency in Arab and East Indian women living in the United Arab Emirates. A follow-up study investigated the effect of vitamin D supplements on 178 UAE women, many of whom covered themselves entirely, faces and hands included, when outside their homes. Only two of the women did not have vitamin D deficiency prior to receiving supplements. The results were published by a team of scientists in the June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
But perhaps what really is needed is not higher doses of vitamin D but â€œlower doses of fundamentalismâ€.
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