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Anchors might be told to obey abaya tradition

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Anchors might be told to obey abaya tradition
Jeddah: The Shoura Council is expected to discuss amendments to the audiovisual law on Tuesday that would impose a mandatory dress code for TV presenters on Saudi-funded private channels, including an abaya and scarf for women news readers and anchors.
Noura Al-Odwan, a woman member of the Shoura, has reportedly convinced the culture and media affairs committee to present the controversial proposal at the consultative council for discussion.
The new move comes a few weeks after Al-Odwan criticized the appearance of some presenters, saying they used too much makeup, drawing flak from the male Shoura members and female anchors.
The proposal demands adding an article on the dress code to the country’s audiovisual media law.
Al-Odwan insisted that the appearance of some female anchors on official channels, where she said they are showing off their beauty, would have a negative impact on the Kingdom’s international reputation.
Bloggers have been divided on the issue. Some have stressed that female anchors should follow an Islamic dress code, while others said the Shoura should not waste their valuable time discussing such “silly” issues. 
Ghada bint Fahad said she was happy someone in the Shoura has raised the issue. “This move has given me hope. Until now I believed that women Shoura members did not represent me,” she said.
Another blogger asked why the channels wanted to appoint women in the first place. “They should not use women as a commodity to attract more viewers.”
Rakan Al-Johani commended Al-Odwan for raising the issue of alleged excesses in Saudi and Arab media, which he said violated the teachings of Islam. Another blogger, Ameera, said: “Some people think cultural progress means showing off women’s beauty. It’s not.”


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