Saudi TV Presenters Obliged to Wear Black Abaya Robes

Saudi TV Presenters Obliged to Wear Black Abaya Robes
Tue Jan 27, 2015 13:28:55

Female television presenters in Saudi Arabia are being ordered to cover up by wearing the traditional black abaya cloak.

Some viewer criticizing this rules and says TV organization should allow presenters select different color of Abaya which is traditional wear for women.

The original proposal made international headlines when it was put forward by a female member of the Shoura Council last month.

Budoor Ahmad, a presenter with state-owned news station Al Ekhbariya appeared on screen wearing an abaya with a blue stripe.
The colour of the stripe is expected to be different for each channel.

Newsreader Budoor tweeted: 'The report that we have to wear the abaya is true.

'The first station was Al Ekhbariya, but the others will follow soon'.

The move came as a shock to some as earlier this week a Shura council, a type of Saudi-Arabian governmental committee, had rejected a proposal for presenters to be forced to cover up.

Noora Al Adwan, a female member of the Shura Council, had demanded last month that a dress code be brought in for all Saudi women working in private television stations funded by Saudi Arabia.

She claimed the country's female presenters were bringing the country's international reputation into disrepute by refusing to wear the national dress and exaggerating their makeup.

She proposed fines of up to SR10 million (£1.7m) for those who break the dress code.

Her remarks sparked anger among Saudi TV presenters who claimed they were not only untrue, abut also an intrusion in their personal lives.

Although the proposal was initially endorsed it was later withdrawn on the grounds it failed to give a clear definition of the national dress, Mail online reports.

Council Member Saud Al Shimmari told local daily Al Watan: 'the proposal highlighted that the non-compliance with the national dress could mean fines of up to SR10 million, yet it failed to give a specific definition of this dress.

'You cannot force women to put on a national dress that is not well defined through a text'.

In August last year a female presenter sparked fury after broadcasting from the London studio of Al Ekhbariya without so much as a veil on her head.

In August last year a female presenter sparked fury after broadcasting from the London studio of Al Ekhbariya without so much as a veil - See more at:

It prompted a string of news stories on Saudi websites and reactions on Twitter with one user, @HoNABIL, branding the channel 'Zionist enemies of religion'.

Women often appear on Saudi TV without wearing headscarves or veils, but the appearance was thought by many to be the first by a newsreader on a government-owned station.

The channel disappointed those who hoped it was becoming more liberal, releasing a promise that the incident will not happen again.

The state-owned news channel featured the Kingdom's first female newsreader when it launched a decade ago.

Al Ekhbariya launched in January 2004 and its first bulletin made headlines by featuring the Islamic state's first female newsreader, who wore Western clothes with a hijab headscarf.

The newsreader stopped short of wearing the niqab, the full face veil seen as a requirement in other parts of the country.

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