Egypt orders female TV anchors to lose weight

Khadija Khattab (Channel 2)
Khadija Khattab (Channel 2)

Egypt's state TV has pulled eight female TV presenters off air until they lose weight.

The Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) has given the women one month to drop the weight before they can return with an "appropriate appearance".

It's led to an explosion of anger among women's rights groups and the presenters.

Khadija Khattab, who hosts on Egypt's Channel 2, says the public should be allowed to judge for themselves whether she is really "fat", and if it's fair for her to lose her job.

Others say the decision is hurtful, and the issue should have been dealt with internally.

Journalist Fatma al-Sharawi says the policy should apply to all local TV stations, while academic Waheed Abdul Majid says the channel should pay more attention to its content - not its hosts' appearances.

Reaction on social media has been mixed, with some supporting the women and others calling them "bakabouzas" - a term for overweight girls.

Despite the backlash, sources from ERTU said they will stick by the decision. The hosts will still be paid during their stand-down period.