A veiled presenter read the news on Egyptian state television for the first time Sunday, as official media lifted a decades-long ban on veiled female news presenters appearing onscreen.
Fatma Nabil made her first appearance on the Channel 1 midday broadcast, wearing a cream-colored hijab covering the hair and neck, reflecting a shift in official media since last year’s overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt's state television had maintained the policy even though some presenters had sued for the right to wear head coverings and won.
TV official Mohammed Fathi told the Associated Press that Nabil's appearance would encourage many other women who wished to wear the veil but feared losing their jobs.
Until the revolution that toppled Mubarak last year and brought Islamist President Mohamed Mursi to power, women in Islamic headscarves and particularly full-face veils had been kept firmly out of the media.
“Finally the revolution has reached” Egyptian media, Nabil told the Muslim Brotherhood's daily newspaper, Freedom and Justice.
The 2011 uprising opened the way for the long-banned but powerful Muslim Brotherhood, as well as other Islamist movements, which won a crushing victory in parliamentary elections.
Four veiled presenters have so far obtained permission to appear veiled on TV; one on Channel 1 and three on Nile News. A fifth, who also works in Nile News, has submitted a request after having recently put on the veil.
Veiled presenters will be required to maintain uniform style in the way they wear their head scarves.