(CNN)One week ago a gunman made his way into two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people. On Friday, women across the country are donning a headscarf similar to a traditional hijab worn by Muslim women to show their support for the victims and the religion.
Women in New Zealand are donning headscarves to remember mosque shooting victims
Wearing a hijab is an Islamic tradition that many Muslim women decide to practice. In most cultures it makes Muslim women more recognizable and serves as a sign of identity. Similar to clothing worn by nuns and Orthodox Jewish women, a hijab symbolizes Islamic women's devotion to God and commitment to their religion.
For non-Muslim women, wearing a headscarf to remember fallen fellow residents symbolizes love, strength and unity in a dark hour. Several New Zealand women spoke to CNN about why they decided to take part in the movement.
Cherie Hailwood, 24: "These people are New Zealanders, just like I am. I understand that one day is very different to wearing it all the time, but I am honored to be given the permission of the Muslim community to walk in their shoes. Even just for a day. ... One bad egg doesn't represent Australia, one bad egg doesn't represent New Zealand. This terrible attack does not define us."
Kate Mills Workman, 19: "To me a headscarf represents the strength, dignity and courage of the millions of Muslim women who choose to wear it knowing that such a visible marker of faith may place them in danger. I am in awe of their strength and commitment to their faith and I hope that seeing thousands of New Zealanders wearing headscarves will show them how deeply we value and respect their courage."