Dozens of women met on the steps of City Hall to mark World Hijab Day and promote religious tolerance on Monday.

The gathering was hosted by the South Asian Fund for Education.

The holiday invites people to wear the traditional headscarves worn by Muslim women for one day, so they can gain a deeper understanding of the religious practice.

"To me the hijab means empowerment, because without the hijab I am just another, like I am not myself. Without the hijab I am not empowered, without the hijab I am not who I want to be, I am not protected," said Pahema Papi, who participated in the event.

"I am of the Christian faith but I am so proud to stand in solidarity with women all throughout the world who make the decision and choose to preserve their cultural heritage by wearing the hijab," said City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo

World Hijab Day was founded back in 2013 by Bronx native Nazma Kahn.