“In recent years, a small piece of cloth has managed to cause quite a stir. The scarf or hijab that Muslim women wear on their heads is making headlines around the world” (Stacey, 2009). Some countries such as France have implemented legislation that bans the hijab in public schools. Other countries, especially in the European region, are quickly following suit in big to create a sense of uniformity among students (Pritchard, 2007). In countries such as Australia, debate aimed at banning the hijab in all the government institutions such as the post office continues to trigger outrage. Such measures would not be a new trend as they are already being undertaken in other nations. As reported by Holloway (2002), “even predominantly Muslim countries such as Turkey and Tunisia ban the hijab in certain government buildings”. Such debates create the need to outline and argue the benefits of wearing the hijab both as a religious attire and as a fashion item (Bullock, 2003).
As Theodore & Rabiha (2011) explains, “there is a myriad of reasons as to why Muslim women wear hijabs, the most important being, they believe God has made it an obligation for believing women”. Some Muslims argue that hijabs help men and women maintain sexual purity since hijab-wearing women do not provoke lustful thoughts among men. “They also liberate Muslim women from the need to conform to unrealistic stereotypes and images dictated by the media” (Caner, 2003). They create a sense of privacy for women and indicate the values placed upon women who prescribe to Islam (Arthur, 2000).
Another significant debate arising from hijab-wearing among Muslim women is the beauty and medical benefits that arise from hijabs. They reduce the heat effects of
women’s faces and protect their complexion. This paper will seek to establish the truth in this argument. The proposal will outline a step-by-step plan that will be used to gather data and information, which will be used as the basis of arguments discussed in the paper.
Scarves play a significant role in the spiritual and religious life of Muslim women (Lazreg, 2009). Other than it being a religious symbol, veils are today largely embraced as fashion items. In the hot areas such as the middle east, they are used to protect the skin from the extremely damaging sun-rays. Some veils are now made with fabrics that allow women to protect against heat effects in the hot regions. The protection further offers medical benefits, as well as taking care of the women’s complexion. This proposal focuses on the positive side of the use of the veil. The paper will study veils that reduce heat effects on women’s faces and protect their complexion.
The issue of fashion among women is still a thorny issue in Asia (Turner & Yangwen, 2009). The question on whether to allow women to have a say on how they want to dress up in Islamic communities does not seem to go away anytime soon. The veil is one of the clothing items that continues to spark heated debates among human rights activists, Islamic women and the Muslim community (Armajani, 2004). Using it as a source of division among different stakeholders, it can be considered to contribute positively to Muslim women. Today, the need for skin protection is more urgent than in the past because different countries continue experiencing extreme weather conditions. The veil can be used as protection measure among women in Saudi Arabia to shield them against heat and help them protect their complexion.
- Review and analyze the background of the veil in the Saudi Arabia region.
- Review literature on veils that reduce heat effects on women’s faces and protect their complexion.
- Conduct a survey to gather views of women on the subject.
- Conduct interviews on skin care experts to collect their views on how the veil is being used too protect complexion and heat effects in the hot regions such as Saudi Arabia.
- Formulate a discussion and conclusions on the subject based on collected data and information.
The objectives of this paper will be accomplished through various methods. The research methodology will be aimed at accomplishing set objectives and doing so at a set period of time. To understand the background of the study, books past research projects and internet articles will be reviewed and analyzed. Past data and information from religious, civil and government organizations will be used to understand various debates and discussions on the subject in the past. It will be important to consider weather patterns in the region where the survey is being conducted in order to understand the need for skin protection. This information will be gathered from both government and meteorological organizations in the region.
It is clear that the subject attracts a significant amount of debate, most of which is negative. Subjects discussed in such debates are likely to provoke conflict, especially in nations where democracy and freedom of expression are still sensitive concerns. However, this paper will focus on the positive aspects of the veil and the benefits that they present to the wearers. The paper aims to collect the views of everyone and ensure fair representation through involving a big number of participants. Further, this will be accomplished by involving people in different age-groups and professional engagements.
Recruitment will be done through a triangulation method. This method allows a researcher to use multiple methods of both quantitative and qualitative. This decision is justified by the fact that the research will be interested in measuring the different benefits of a veil and its effectiveness in protecting women’s faces against heat effects. It is also because the research will also attempt to qualify the benefits and their role in making the lives of Islamic Saudi Arabian women better, putting into consideration the need for freedom in how one dresses-up. Using the triangulation method is further expected to allow this project get better results, as well as make it easier to deal with any challenges that may arise from using one research method. This is expected to be possible through balancing between the weaknesses of one research method against the strengths of the other.
Data collected in this paper will be categorized into two major groups. Primary data will be got first hand from participants. Secondary data will be gathered from other people’s and organizations’ work in the past. Primary data will be collected through questionnaires. It will also be through semi-structured face to face interviews with experts in the field of skin care. The questions will be easy enough to make it easy for participants to give their answers. Seeing the issue affects mostly women, questionnaires will be conducted on women. However, interviews will be conducted on both men and women conversant with the issues of skin health and protection.
The choice of participants in this research paper will be critical in collecting the right primary data. The first method of primary data collection will be questionnaires. To ensure everyone’s views are collected, the research will have a big number of participants comprising of 50 women. The participants will be aged between 18 and 65 years old. Interviews were conducted on a population of five people. Three of the interviewees practice privately in their consultation clinics while two of them work in a government hospital in Makkah in Riyadh.
The questionnaires will be divided into four sections. The first section will be aimed at establishing the women’s experience with the hijab so far whether they like wearing it or not. The second part will be aimed at collecting their views on whether the veil should be forced on them by religion, or they should have a right to decide on when to wear it. The third section will be used to collect their views on the benefits of the veil. Answers on this section will be based on their own experience and those of others. The last section, which will be the longest and most significant, will be aimed at understanding the level of awareness on skin protection, and their views on the role of the veil in the same. Participants will give answers on whether they have any awareness on skin protection against heat, and how much they care about their complexion.
To ensure a comprehensive survey, the snowball technique will be used. Recruitment will be done by using social network and other forums to reach out to targeted participants. In the snowball technique, the targeted number of participants required for the survey is recruited by using people familiar with the study to reach out to more people. An initial number of ten participants will be used to reach out to other people who will be willing to participate in the survey, as well as be able to answer the questions as it is required. The 50 participants will be directed to a weblink which will be designed for the purpose of this study. This will allow the participants either fill the questionnaires online, or request for hard copies from the same site. Due to the design of the study, the participants will have to be people who can comfortably use the internet.
For the interviews, recruitment will be done based on the level of expertise of a participant and the period of time they have practiced. The participants will be contacted on the phone by fetching their numbers from directories. The actual interviews will be conducted by arranging meetings with them when it is most convenient. Those in the government hospital will be requested to have interviews conducted in the hospital to save time and travel costs. Those in private practice will have interviews conducted at venues that are the most convenient ones for them. All the participants will be presented with adequate explanations and guidelines for the study. They will further be required to fill and sign a consent form agreeing to voluntary participation.
The case design for this study will be complete and comprehensive enough to make it possible for different stakeholders to utilize the findings gathered in the report, as well as implement recommendations. The findings in this study are expected to be helpful to the government of Saudi Arabia, women in the country, as well as skin care specialists and experts. Reviewing this case design will be critical in ensuring its applicability, as well as validity. The reviewing process will include cross-comparing the design together with the outcome with any similar research projects conducted in the past in Saudi Arabia or other places. As Cottrell & James (2011) explains, “reviewing case designs and comparing them with other projects helps in highlighting commonalities and identify areas where the results need to be strengthened”.
Type of data analysis
To achieve the set objectives of this paper, the research methodology will be designed to achieve the set objectives outlined above. Data collected will be categorized into two items, primary and secondary. Secondary data will include results from past research projects, data from the government and religious institutions, and information from books, online articles and academic journals. Secondary data will be important in understanding the background of the problem, as well as justifying the need for study in this field.
Data analysis will be done using diverse techniques since the study will have different types of data and outcomes. The choice of data analysis tools and software will be very critical when sorting out data and identifying patterns in the outcome. As explained by Rea & Richard (2005), “when conducting a strategy design study, data mining is an indispensable technique since it involves discovering knowledge, as opposed to describing it”. It is expected that in such a study, and with a proper recruitment of participants, 90% of the questionnaires distributed will be returned and filled correctly. Interviews were scheduled early to guarantee enough time for preparation by participants. Different types of data and outcomes will be analyzed separately. Answers to open-ended questions will be analyzed and discussed individually while answers to close-ended questions will be analyzed in percentages.
Ethical issues and limitations
In every research project, several ethical issues are bound to arise (Denscombe, 2007). The case study will be designed to allow such issues and limitations be addressed effectively. One of the most fundamental principles to be adhered to in this research is voluntarism participation. No participant will be coerced to participate in the research or give false or altered information. Participants will be required to give consent if there will be any need to reveal their identity in the course of the study. This will be most important for the five interviewees whose names or position at work may come up in data analysis. However, it is expected that anonymity will be applied for this study.
“During a research project, ethics also demand that the process must not subject the respondents to any danger or harm” (Boudah, 2011). This factor will be put into consideration throughout the survey. The paper will apply the principle of anonymity to protect all the participants from consequences of revealing the information they will give. All the respondents will be treated with respect and dignity during the study as it is demanded by ethics in when conducting surveys. The significance of the study and all the questions will be explained to them to ensure that they know what they are involved in.
Several limitations are expected in this study. It is expected that acquiring permission from the relevant authorities to conduct the survey will take a long time. Lack of cooperation from some respondents is also expected, especially having the questionnaires completed on time. Language is also expected to present a significant challenge as most people in Riyadh speak Arabic. The exercise will be costly, and availability of finances is expected to pose a significant challenge. These limitations will be addressed by designing a case study that allows participants answer questions easily by having them explained to participants. It will also be through assigning enough time for each task in the study to allow room for possible delays and inconveniences. Using translators will make it easy for participants to ask questions, as well as make it possible to understand the results and compile a comprehensive report. Enough funds will be gathered and allocated to different tasks before the survey commences.
After formulating a proper proposal, this research paper is expected to be complete in a duration of 2 months
Stakeholder, community participation
The issue or beauty attracts a lot of attention from all communities in the world. Any avenue available for making women more beautiful will be easily explored (Parker & Starratt, 2010). It is for this reason that this survey is expected to attract a lot of support from the Riyadh community. Women in hot regions such as Saudi Arabia can save a lot of money spent on sunscreens if the idea of using veils to reduce heat effects on women’s faces and protect their complexion is explored further. Protecting the skin from harmful sun rays using veils will require a lot of study to ensure that proper clothing material is used (Somerville, 2010). It could also involve other measures such as rinsing them with certain detergents after wash.
Beneficiaries of this study will include the government of Saudi Arabia, the people of Riyadh, the Islamic community and all women who wear veils in different parts of the world. If there is enough information to support the argument that veils can indeed be used to protect and preserve beauty, the Islamic community can use such arguments to support their laws that requires women to wear veils. Furthermore, the women of Riyadh and all other Muslim women around the world can convert the simple clothing item into an item of beauty and health.
Other significant stakeholders in this study will be fellow students, whose views will be sought on how the subject affects them. Beauty companies and skin care experts will be fully involved in the research, and the outcome is expected to significantly contribute towards their work. Businesses can use such research and discussions to come up with products that suit the needs of women in the region. Such a study serves as a platform for women to air their needs and expectations as far as beauty and skin protection is concerned.
Importance of research
Muslim women continue to face significant challenges with identity and freedom to express themselves, even through fashion (Haddad, Kathleen & Jane, 2006). this research will be used to understand the diverse discussions and debates currently going on about the veil. Furthermore, the search for beauty among Muslim women is still as vibrant as it is as among other women from different religions (El Fadl, 2006). Addressing the need to use available resources to enhance beauty among muslim women is therefore a very relevant subject.
From different studies, protecting the skin against direct sunlight remains a fundamental element in beauty management (Pappas, 2011). Results from this study will be used as a basis for arguments and discussions over how the veil can be used to protect women from direct sun-rays, as well as enable them protect their complexion. Furthermore, protection against ultraviolet rays still remain a task for scientists and beauticians (Rougier & Hans,1998). The results will be used as a basis for further studies on how scientific innovations can be incorporated with fashion to maximize benefits of the veil to women wearing them for religious or other purposes.
Armajani, J. (2004). Dynamic Islam: Liberal Muslim perspectives in a transnational age. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
Arthur, L.B. (2000). Undressing religion: Commitment and conversion from a cross-cultural perspective. Oxford: Berg.
Boudah, D.J. (2011). Conducting educational research: Guide to completing a major project. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications.
Bullock, K. (2003). Rethinking muslim women and the veil: challenging historical and modern stereotypes. Herndon: International Institute of Islamic Thoughts.
Caner, E.M. (2003). Voices behind the veil: The world of Islam through the eyes of women. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregler Publications.
Cottrell, R.R., & James, F.M. (2011). Health promotion and education research methods: Using the five-chapter thesis/dissertation model. Sudbarry Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Denscombe, M. (2007). The good research guide. S.I.: Mc-Graw-Hill Education.
El Fadl, K.E. (2006). The search for beauty in Islam: A conference of the books. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Haddad, Y.Y. Kathleen, M.M., & Jane, I.S. (2006). Muslim women in America: The challenges of Islamic identity today. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Holloway, J.S. (2002). Confronting the veil. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Lazreg, M. (2009). Questioning the veil: Open letters to Muslim women. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Pappas, A. (2011). Nutrition and skin: Lessons for anti-aging, beauty and healthy skin. Springer Verlag.
Parker, G.H., & Starratt, S.A. (2010). The effect of heat on the color changes in the skin of Anolis Carolinensis Cuv. New York: Kessinger Publishing.
Pritchard, A. (2007). Tourism and gender: Embodiment, sensuality and experience. Walllingford, UK: CABI.
Rea, L.M., & Richard, A.P. (2005). Designing and conducting survey research: A comprehensive guideline. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Rougier, A., & Hans, S. (1998). Protection of the skin against ultraviolet radiations. Montrouge: Libbey Eurotext.
Stacey, A. (2009). Why muslim women wear the veil. Web.
Somerville, K. (2010). Complexion perfection. Your ultimate guide to beautiful skin by Hollywood’s leading skin health expert. Carlsbad: Hay House.
Theodore, P.C., & Rabiha, H. (2011). Islam and the veil: Theoretical and regional contexts. London: Continuum.
Turner, B.S., & Yangwen, Z. (2009). The body Asia. New York: Berghahn Books.