A campaign to introduce a hijab emoji to keyboards has been successful, giving a much-needed boost for inclusivity following a wave of Islamaphobia in some parts of the world.
The idea, spearheaded by Rayouf Alhumedhi, a 15-year-old originally from Saudi Arabia who is currently living in Berlin.
The teen was trying to find an image to represent herself in WhatsApp one day when she realized there was something missing. There was no emoji for a hijab – even though the traditional covering is donned by 550 million women around the world.
However an image of a woman in a headscarf will be added to smartphones in 2017, along with more than 50 other emojis emirateswoman reports.
Among the newcomers include a pretzel, a woman breastfeeding, and a man and woman practicing yoga.
In her pitch to the Unicode Consortium, the non-profit responsible for developing new emojis. Alhumedhi wrote:
“Women all across the globe choose to wear the headscarf because of its evident indication of their faith and identity. However, the hijab stretches much further than a piece of cloth on your head. It also influences the way you talk, the way you act and ultimately, your lifestyle. To say it’s an integral aspect of women’s lives is an understatement,”
“The addition of the hijab emoji will prove to be a step forward in tolerance and diversity. It is distinctive and holds a lot of spiritual meaning to millions of women across the globe, recognizing its importance will ultimately showcase great appreciation from the Muslim community.”