Walk like an Egyptian — and come back when you’ve lost some weight. That’s what the nation’s state-owned TV network is telling eight of its female anchors, in a controversial decision drawing criticism from women’s groups.
The Egyptian Radio and Television Union banned the broadcasters from appearing on the air until they lose weight — and they’ve been given a month to achieve an “appropriate appearance,” according to BBC.
Egyptian Muslim cleric warns of Pokémon Go ‘danger’
Khadija Khattab, one of the banned broadcasters, told a Saudi newspaper that she finds the decision humiliating. She suggested that people should watch her recent appearances and see for themselves whether or not she’s “fat.”
“I believe I am an ordinary Egyptian woman who looks normal, and I don’t wear too much makeup,” she said, according to the New York Times.
Fatma al-Sharawi, a journalist for the state’s newspaper, supported the move and said it should be implemented at all local TV stations.
Safaa Hegazy, the head of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union, was a former broadcaster.
Safaa Hegazy, the head of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union, was a former broadcaster. “Is a ban for eight enough?” she asked.
Abigail Breslin calls Gold’s Gym body-shaming ads ‘disgusting’
Alaa el-Sadani, a commentator at the daily paper, voiced similar views, calling the anchors’ appearance “disgusting and repulsive.”
The seemingly sexist decree “violates the constitution,” the Women’s Centre for Guidance and Legal Awareness said, according to The Independent. The group called for an apology and asked the state to walk back its decision.
ERTU said it has no plans to do that, but emphasized that the anchors will still be paid during their suspension.
Social media offered mixed reactions to the ordeal, with some standing behind the banned women and others lobbing insults.