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A Hijab-Wearing TV Anchor Just Made Canadian History

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A newscaster has become the first woman to wear a hijab while anchoring a major news broadcast in Canada.

Ginella Massa, a reporter for Toronto CityNews, filled in as an anchor on the 11pm news broadcast on Nov. 18, and has since said she hopes her achievement will inspire other women who wear the hijab to pursue similar successes. It seems the U.S. has yet to hit this milestone, although journalist Noor Tagouri has previously spoken of her hopes to become the first anchor in a hijab on U.S. television.

29-year old Massa, who was born in Panama and grew up in Toronto, became Canada’s first hijab-wearing television news reporter in 2015 while reporting for CTV News in Kitchener, Ontario. In an interview with NPR, Massa said “It’s more important than ever for Muslim women, especially, who are often the symbol for Islam because we’re so visible with our hijabs, to be seen as important and contributing members of our society.” She also said that she had previously been told by a colleague that “I don’t think a woman in hijab will ever be hired on air because it’s just too distracting.” Massa said that since her history-making appearance, she has received some negative comments but overall, the response has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

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