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#DearSister – The Muslim Women fed up of Being Told What to do

On the 8th of March, people all over the world celebrated International Women’s Day. The campaign theme this year is ‘Be Bold for Change’, a powerful statement that reflects the hard work being done by countless women to achieve gender equality and a more inclusive, open and understanding world.

One of these women is Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American journalist and Muslim who – to vastly understate it – receives plenty of “constructive criticism” about her efforts to promote women’s rights and/or general opinion on absolutely everything. These mostly arrive as emails, beginning with a phrase similar to, ‘Dear sister, I say these things with greatest certitude of your Islam…’ before the sender proceeds to stomp all over Eltahawy’s views.

Tired of receiving so many unwelcome critiques, she asked her Twitter followers to share their stories of daily lecturing via the #DearSister tag. What resulted were tweets highlighting the unreasonable expectations placed on many Muslim women:

 

While some of the stories on show make for pretty tough reading, Eltahawy ultimately found them to be empowering. Speaking to the BBC, she said, ‘I love the ferocity and energy.’

‘For me the most important thing is that #DearSister is a platform for Muslim women and girls – somewhere they get the space to speak, and everyone must listen.’ It’s clear that some men are already taking note:

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