Saudi mulls covering up female TV anchors

The Shoura Council is considering a proposal to force female TV anchors in the kingdom to observe a conservative, covered dress code that does not allow them to amplify their beauty
Saudi mulls covering up female TV anchors
Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)
By Courtney Trenwith
Thu 19 Feb 2015 11:27 AM

Female TV anchors in Saudi Arabia may soon be forced to adhere to a uniform conservative dress code that does not amplify their beauty, according to local media.

The king’s advisory body, the Shoura Council, is reviewing a proposal by the General Commission for Audiovisual Media.

Ibrahim Abu Abat, who co-wrote the proposal, told the Shoura Council women should wear the hijab (headscarf) on air to uphold the kingdom’s conservative Islamic standards, Saudi Gazette reported.

“I receive a lot of questions from Muslims all over the world wondering why our women appear without their hijab [headscarf] in the media,” he was quoted as saying.

“It is embarrassing to not be the best representation of Islam.

“Saudi women must appear with their respectable hijab so we can have a Saudi media that truly represents our beliefs and values.”

The issue became controversial mid-last year when a female anchor appeared without a headscarf during a national news broadcast for the first time on Saudi government-run Al Ekhbariya.

An Al Ekhbariya spokesman said at the time that the woman in the segment was delivering her news bulletin out of the London office and it would not happen again.

“She was not in a studio inside Saudi Arabia and we do not tolerate any transgression of our values and the country’s systems,” Saleh Al Mughailif said, according to Gulf News.

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.