"Don't touch my studies" - 2020On June 4, 2020, the Constitutional Court validates the ban on wearing visible convictional signs in a Belgian high school. Students who wear headscarves are mobilizing against this decision that they consider contrary to their fundamental rights. With the slogan "Don't touch my studies", they denounce the disastrous impact of this exclusion on their future and fight for a more inclusive education.
Too often excluded from the debate, students who wear headscarves want to make their voices heard. They want to tell the realities they face, which are often difficult, unequal and full of discriminations when one is part of a visible minority. In a country that advocates access to education, institutional decisions are taken without consultation with the first concerned, organizing their exclusion in some Belgian schools. Not without impact on the lives of these women who are forced to abandon their dreams, to give up certain studies, and ultimately to make choices in their career path according to what is accessible rather than pursuing their ambitions. Many of them aspire to short-supply occupations, but since they do not feel accepted in our society, some consider leaving for other more tolerant countries such as Canada, Denmark or Holland. These students photographed in front of buildings linked to their schooling, sometimes synonymous with oppression, claim above all their rights and militate for future generations. They organize themselves in collectives, create the #HijabisFightBack movement and mobilize on social networks. They fight for justice, the recognition of diversity, and against the injunctions made to women.
The full report has been published in French in the Belgian Magazine Médor.