Being able to freely express who she is without fear of retribution is a right that one Yazidi woman does not take for granted.
In recent weeks, The Daily Advertiser has been highlighting fashions from cultures that are thriving in the region, with women leading the way forward.
Farzo Saleem arrived in Wagga in August 2016 after fleeing Iraq due to the persecution and genocide of her people at the hands of ISIS.
"Before we came to Australia we lived in Turkey for two years because our country wasn't safe," she said.
"ISIS attacked in 2014 and we left. In Turkey, we heard Australia was taking refugees so we applied for the immigration visa so we were one of the lucky people to come to Australia."
Ms Saleem said being Yazidi provides both a cultural and religious basis to who she is.
"The best thing is our religion is for us," she said. "We don't have the concept of forcing others to be like us.
"We just want a safe place to live happily with our families."
The Yazidi traditional outfit for women is a floor-length dress with a belt cinching the waist.
Ms Saleem said the gown is often accented by different jewellery and embellishments depending on the personal taste of whoever is wearing it.
"We wear them for celebrations, weddings, Eid," she said.
"We buy the fabrics from the shops and then we make these dresses ourselves.
"The belt and the jewellery are to add a beautiful look to the clothes."
For everyday clothing, the women wear simple dresses or whatever they are comfortable in.
Ms Saleem said there are no rules when it comes to casual clothing, especially since moving to Australia.
Red is often worn to symbolise the New Year and white is worn by the bride at weddings, such as in many cultures.
"We wear all the colours depending on what you like wearing," Ms Saleem said.
Older women will also sometimes wear a headpiece [as pictured] with a veil.
"They wear this for weddings especially," Ms Saleem said. "Some women older than 55 will wear it every day."
Wearing traditional dresses, even if not all the time, is an important way for Ms Saleem to freely express being a part of the Yazidi community.
"People when they see my dress will know where I am from and what religion I am," she said.
"We want all people to know about it."
Farzo Saleem's comments were translated by her daughter Wafra Hamka.
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