February 1st, 2013, marked the first annual World Hijab Day in recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty.

The brainchild of this movement is a New York resident, Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting women (non-Hijabi Muslims/non-Muslims) to experience the hijab for one day. For many people, the hijab is a symbol of oppression and segregation. By opening up new pathways to understanding, Nazma hopes to counteract some of the controversies surrounding why Muslim women choose to wear the hijab.

The whole movement is organized using social networking sites. It has attracted the interest of many Muslims and non-Muslims in more than 140 countries worldwide. WHD literature has been translated in 56 languages. There are over 91+ appointed World Hijab Day ambassadors in over 33+ countries. This movement has been endorsed by celebrities like Mrs. Universe 2013 (Carol Lee), politicians such as Dr. Amina Namadi Sambo (Wife, Vice President (Nigeria)), and well known scholars like Mufti Ismail Menk, Dr. Yasir Qadhi, Sheikh Omar Suleiman and many more. This global movement has been covered by mainstream news media such as BBC, Al-Jazeera, Huffington Post, and many more.

“World Hijab Day has shown my students a most powerful lesson in accepting individual differences.” -Dr. Arthur Flug (Executive Director, Kupferberg Holocaust Center)

Who We Are?

World Hijab Day Conference is organized by ANNISAA Organization of Canada, a women’s empowerment organization promoting the livelihoods of Muslim women through educational enrichment, healthy living, and social development. We envision a society where Muslim women see their true potential as socioeconomic and cultural leaders at the forefront of the community.

What is the purpose of this conference? Why are you holding this conference?

ANNISAA is an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women, especially those in the Islamic community. World Hijab Day is a day committed to something particular to Muslim women—the hijab. In mainstream media, hijab is portrayed inaccurately, and even when it is shown to be positive, hijab is depicted as vague and one-dimensional. The purpose of our conference is to raise awareness about what hijab means to Muslim women, to share the complex experiences of women who do wear it and compare it to those who don’t, to give these women the voice that they are assumed not to have, and, at the general level, empower women to feel like individuals with a choice.

Aside from the political level, it is organized to bring women together to strengthen the community and to provide a rich environment for learning and even entertainment.

Why is the conference held for women only?

The dominant concept behind World Hijab Day is, of course, the hijab, which is almost completely unique to women in Islam. Therefore, the ideas and experiences that are shared during the conference by our speakers and guests pertain to women. There are various conferences for men and for families held in Toronto, and this WHD conference is one of the few held only for women. Women are usually (though not always) considered passive and mute on most sociopolitical issues, and the hijab is supposed to bring out the voice we have the right to have, which is why we are holding a conference that will allow women to do that, free from anything that would otherwise prevent it.

OUR THEME – Hijab in 2017: Your Voice

Unique approach to conference that allows audience to explore deeply into the meaning behind hijab, understand its purposes of self-empowerment, identity, liberty, self-validation, unity, and modesty, share the struggles and joys of wearing (or not wearing) hijab, and appreciate how hijab provides guidance for our relationships and personal conflicts.