Did a woman read the news in Saudi Arabia without a veil?

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Tuesday 05 August 2014 10:20
news

TL;DR version: sort of.

Images of a "bare-headed" woman reading the news on a state-run TV channel in Saudi Arabia have caused widespread outrage in the country.

The unnamed presenter was broadcasting for government-owned Al Ekhbariya. The channel, launched in 2004, was the first to feature female presenters but a spokesperson told Gulf News women would not appear on the channel without a veil again. "She was a correspondent reading the news from a studio in Britain", they said.

"She was not in a studio inside Saudi Arabia and we do not tolerate any transgression of our values and the country’s systems."

So a woman did read the news without a veil in a programme broadcast in Saudi Arabia, but she was not physically in the country and it won't happen again.

Women have appeared on Saudi TV before without wearing the veil, mostly in foreign programmes but it was unprecedented for a female newsreader to appear without covering their hair.

Women's rights are severely curtailed in Saudi Arabia: females are not allowed to drive and they are required to cover their heads, although Gulf News says this is less strictly enforced in some parts of the country.

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