In my pre-law life I was a teacher in the East end of London. The school in which I taught was full of talented Muslim girls however, in my personal experience, none of them aspired to be barristers.
Of course, for young Muslim women, there are many barriers in the way of becoming a barrister but one of the simplest reasons Muslim girls from my school didn't think of law as a career path is that: 'you can't be what you can't see'. Seeing people who look like you succeeding in a profession is so important when young people look into their futures.
It starts as early as drawing astronauts as male in primary school which seems harmless but easily develops into a subconscious acceptance that some jobs are not for women.
I firmly believe that Ivy & Normanton's new range of hijabs to wear to court is a huge step in the right direction and is raising the public profile of female Muslim barristers. If young Muslim schoolgirls saw a press conference or a news report outside court with a women in full court dress wearing a well-fitting and stylish hijab I guarantee there would be a lot of excitement and questions in the classroom and perhaps some young minds might think to themselves - she looks like me, I could do that!
Two junior barristers from Doughty Street Chambers have teamed up to design and launch a range of hijabs to wear in court. The product, created by criminal barristers Karlia Lykourgou and Maryam Mir, is aimed towards Muslim advocates who struggle to find appropriate legal headwear. Although hijab-wearing barristers don’t have to wear traditional wigs in court, there appears to be no guidance on what this should look like in practice. The hijab is the latest release from Ivy & Normanton, the first ever outfitter dedicated to courtwear for women, which was launched last year by Lykourgou.