A female newsreader has caused outrage in Saudi Arabia after she became the first person to read the news without a headscarf.
The Independent reports that the unnamed TV anchor was not in Saudi Arabia and was broadcasting from the Al Ekhbariya studios in London but added that “we do not tolerate any transgression of our values and the country’s systems.”
While some women are occasionally seen on state television without a headscarf, newsreaders are always covered up with a hijab.
Islamic dress codes require women to wear headscarves and veils.
Although, how much women are covered up differs across Saudi Arabia. In the conservative capital Riyadh women wear a full veil (niqab), while in more relaxed cities like Jeddah, woman opt simply for a hijab.
The social media outrage was split in Saudi Arabia between those who felt the anchor was showing disrespect to others who felt that the incident might help progress women’s rights in the country.
Although women’s rights are getting more attention now, with more women than before joining the workforce, a huge gap still exists in restrictions on women compared to other parts of the world. In Saudi, women are banned from driving.