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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

UK Foreign Office hosts hijab event

Staff were offered headscarves to promote their understanding of different cultural and social views while working abroad

Boris Johnson's Foreign Office hosted the Hijab Day event last week. EPA/ANDY RAIN
Boris Johnson's Foreign Office hosted the Hijab Day event last week. EPA/ANDY RAIN

The UK’s Foreign Office offered staff free head scarves to learn why Muslim women chose to wear them during an event to mark World Hijab Day, according to reports.

The event was designed to give staff a “better understanding of the different cultural and social issues” they may face while working overseas, according to reports citing the ministry that is headed by Boris Johnson.

An internal email to staff said that many women find “liberation, respect and security” through wearing the hijab. The event took place at the department’s headquarters in Whitehall.

The issue of the hijab has come to the fore after the head of the schools’ inspection body backed a school that faced a backlash over banning the hijab for young girls.

Amanda Spielman said schools faced a difficult balancing act when respecting religious requirements and cultural preferences.

She warned schools that they should not assume that the "most conservative voices" of a particular faith group speak for everyone, and that they must not be afraid to "call out" any practices that they feel could have a negative impact on young people.

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