Portrait of a girl, 21st century, meant to loo...

Portrait of a girl, 21st century, meant to look vintage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the speech I did for my ninth Competent Communications manual speech at Toastmasters. The aim of this speech is meant to be to persuade the audience. It is a 5-7 minute speech but I went overtime at just over 8 minutes. I didn’t actually write my speech out word for word, but the points I endeavored to make are listed below. I was meant to do this without notes, but that is just too many stats for me to memorize.

I began my speech by having three other women stand at the front – one wearing skimpy clothing, one wearing conservative casual attire and one wearing long pants, long sleeved shirt and a hijab. I then asked the audience which of the three they felt was more oppressed. After giving them a chance to answer, I made the point that I felt the most oppressed woman there was the one in skimpy clothing, before moving on. In the end, my speech contained the following points:

Head coverings are also worn by Jews, Christians, Hindis and a growing number of Pagans. Many European cultures wear them to indicate marital status or availability.

Hijab is not just headscarf.

Men also have rules of dress.

Women are exploited as sexual objects in advertising. Women’s magazine’s downplay a woman’s intellect and spirituality and exaggerate the importance of physical beauty.

In a survey by Teen People magazine, 27% of the girls felt that the media pressures them to have a perfect body. A poll conducted in 1996 by the international ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi found that ads made women fear being unattractive or old.

US women spend an average of $7 billion per year (around $100 a month each) on beauty products and cosmetics.

From an early age girls are brainwashed by emphasis on beauty from toys to ‘princess’ cartoon characters.

Some of the Rights given to women in Islam about 1400 years ago:

1. The right and duty to obtain education.
2. The right to have their own independent property.
3. The right to work to earn money if they need it or want it.
4. Equality of reward for equal deeds.
5. The right to express their opinion and be heard.
6. The right to provisions from the husband for all her needs and more.
7. The right to negotiate marriage terms of her choice.
8. The right to obtain divorce from her husband, even on the grounds that she simply can’t stand him.
9. The right to keep all her own money (she is not responsible to maintain any relations).
10. The right to get sexual satisfaction from her husband.
11. custody of their children after divorce.
12. to refuse any marriage that does not please them
13. The right to vote

Domestic Violence:

  • America: 25%
  • Canada: 29%
  • Australia: 31%
  • New Zealand: 35%
  • India: 70%
  • Egypt: 34%


  • Egypt: 0.1/100,000
  • Turkey: 1.4/100,000
  • USA: 28.6/100,000
  • Northern Ireland: 22.3/100,000
  • Rest of UK: 24.1/100,000

Hijab allows focus on intellect and spirituality rather than physical beauty.

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1 reply


  1. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft | Rafferty's Rules

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