“Islamic” maternity pants are a medical risk, leads to “body-shaming”, say critics

The “Islamic”, aurat-covering maternity pants manufactured by local clothing company MamaPride has generated a fair bit of criticism over its practicality and actual benefits, even as sales have surged. 

Expectant Muslim mothers are gravitating towards the RM98 pants, which allow for maximum coverage of the nether regions by incorporating a removable flap over the genitals for delivery purposes. 

However, women’s rights group, All Women’s Action Society (Awam), warned that the MamaPride pants might be a poor choice for women in labour, and seems to be “cashing in on politicised Islam in Malaysia”.

“We find it unthinkable that a business should attempt to profit off the trend of body-shaming and women’s insecurities while further perpetuating arbitrary notions of what it means to be ‘modest’,” Awam said in an e-mail to Reuters.

“Any attempt to prey off women’s insecurities and pander to misappropriated religious ideals needs to be critically examined if we wish to liberate women from this cycle of body-policing.”

The maternity pants were designed by a team of 19 healthcare workers – five of them women – attached to the medical charity Papisma, in response to calls from religious scholars for Muslim women to be able to cover themselves up in front of male medical practitioners.

MamaPride has received requests from abroad including from Britain, Ireland, Indonesia and Singapore, but for now the trousers are only available in Malaysia.

 

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