UK Foreign Office hosts hijab event

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

epa06505878 Britsh Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson  departs a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, central London, Britain, 08 February 2018. Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a war cabinet to decide Britain's future relations with the EU.  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.