Niqab-wearing women have stirred a lot of controversy in recent years - with decisions to ban the face-veil becoming all the more common across many European countries.

The face-veil is especially customary in parts of the GCC. But, contrary to popular belief, it is not a requirement by law, not even in Saudi Arabia. 

As per Saudi law - which is based on a fundamentalist interpretation of Sharia law - women, both foreign and local, wear abaya when out in public spaces, and hijab in some areas, including Riyadh. 

Nevertheless, media often associates niqab with the kingdom. 

For this reason, Saudi women have launched a hashtag to remind the world that the face-veil does not represent them.

The hashtag 'niqab doesn't represent me' has been the topic of discussion in Saudi Arabia, appearing as the #1 trend on Twitter in the past 24 hours.

It's not just in Saudi though. The hashtag has gained traction, becoming a worldwide trending hashtag in a matter of hours. 

It's called 'freedom of choice'

If it were a choice, what would women do?

"If you give women the freedom of choice, they would have burned the niqab a long time ago."

"It will never represent me"

"'The niqab does not represent me and will never represent me because it is a symbol of slavery. It is also a symbol of the fact that a woman is seen as a disgrace rather than a human being with rights equal to those of a man."

"I'm not supposed to cover my face"

It's a personal choice

"Every woman is free to make her own choices and free to choose the niqab or not."

"[We] just need to accept each other"

A matter of personal freedom

"Revealing one's face or covering it is a matter of personal freedom. Every person has the right to choose what makes them more comfortable."

People are sending words of encouragement to Saudi women

For those who think 'niqab' is a form of oppression, Saudi women sought to change that in a video released in 2016

Titled "Hwages," which translates to "concern," the music video garnered over 14 million views since it was first released in December 2016. 

Saudi women can be seen skating, playing basketball, singing, and dancing in the video directed by Majed Alesa.

The clip starts off with three women wearing the niqab, getting into a car with a young boy as the driver, criticizing the kingdom's ban on women driving. It then shows women breaking all kinds of stereotypes. 

They shoot some hoops, skateboard, and showcase some epic dance moves.

"May all men be erased as they've hurt us psychologically," the women repeatedly say in the song's chorus.

Produced by Saudi production company, 8ies Studios, the video was a remake of a low-quality video that surfaced in 2014. Both use the same lyrics.