It's not a question but I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject, starting with congratulating Raffia Arshad firstly on what has clearly been a very successful career as a barrister, secondly on becoming a Deputy District Judge (especially bearing in mind that only 6% of judges in England and Wales identify as BAME) and thirdly for becoming one of the first hijab-wearing judges and smashing so many stereotypes in one go!
Now I must admit, Raffia's wearing of the hijab is in and of itself irrelevant to me. I am in fact one of those people that thinks it is hugely unhelpful to suggest that there is some symbiotic relationship between the headscarf and Muslim women. Not all Muslim women wear a hijab and that does not make them any less Muslim and it is very important we celebrate the diversity of Muslim women!
Having said that, I also know that there are many Muslim women and girls, hijab-wearing or not, who can now see themselves have a successful career in law and can see themselves becoming a part of the judiciary. Raffia being a headscarf-wearing judge is not just about the hijab. It is not just that hijab-wearing Muslim women and girls will no longer feel as if their choice to wear a headscarf will limit their career choices. Rather it also shows that the legal profession and judiciary is open to all and your gender, ethnicity and religiosity is not a hindrance. Of course there are still hurdles and barriers which need to be addressed (gender pay gap, ethnic pay gap, unconscious bias, sexual harassment in the workplace)... but change is happening.
So congratulations Raffia - and thank you, for being a wonderful role model to female BAME Muslims who can now see it as a possibility to follow in your footsteps!