Finally, the International Basketball Association (also known as FIBA) has amended its rule regarding head coverings, backing away from its ridiculous concern that these expressions of faith were "safety issues." The organization will permit players to wear religious head coverings – men who wear a turban or a kippot and women who wear a hijab – during FIBA-sanctioned events.
While these rulings impact both genders, it’s a particular win for women. Restrictions which keep women, especially young girls, from playing sports are suspicious, and this one was especially so since the head coverings have no bearing on the actual playing of the game or the health and safety of the players.
Additionally, Nike recently announced its latest offering – the Pro Hijab, designed with the input of Muslim female athletes. While it helps advance the opportunities for women across cultures and religious beliefs to play sports, the Pro Hijab also clearly indicates Nike sees market potential, and wanted to swoop in when it saw smaller companies, like the female-led Oiselle, get in the modest sportswear game.
When international organizations and powerful companies start backing athletes who happen to be female and Muslim, it creates a much-needed diversity dialogue and – most importantly – more opportunities for girls to play.