An Egyptian TV station has ordered eight of its female anchors to lose weight, placing them on one month suspension.
A State TV station has sparked outrage online after demanding that eight of its female anchors lose weight, placing them on suspension.
The Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) has given the women one month to diet before resuming their role on-air.
The director of ERTU, Safaa Hegazy, who was once a TV anchor, is standing by the absurd decision, revealing that the salary and benefits of the suspended anchors will not be cut short during the period of their suspension.
So far, opinions on the issue have been divided with some referring to the women as “bakabouzas” (an Egyptian term for overweight females) and praising Hegazy for her strong decision while the Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness say the move “violates the constitution.”
Apart from the outcry of women's rights groups, the suspended presenters have also defended themselves.
One of the affected presenters, Khadija Khattab, disclosed to local media that she wants people to watch her most recent appearances to see if she is indeed fat and deserving of the suspension.
Another admits that the situation is highly distressing and could have been handled better with less publicity.
A male member of parliament and journalist, Sayyid Hegazy, has defended the women, adding that a presenter “might be a little overweight, but she is eloquent.”