Gambia's president issues order for females to cover head

AP News
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Posted: Jan 06, 2016 10:51 AM

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Gambia's president has issued an executive order stating that all female staff with the government must cover their hair during office hours.

The memo from President Yahya Jammeh, issued on Monday, and seen by The Associated Press on Wednesday says that all are strictly advised to adhere to the new directive which urges female staff to use head ties and neatly wrap their hair. It is not clear if women of all religions must follow the mandate.

The move comes after Jammeh last month declared the tiny West African country an Islamic republic, saying he decided this because Islam is the religion of the majority of its citizens.

Jammeh seized power in 1994. Rights groups accuse him of gross human rights abuses, including a clampdown on political opponents.