With emojis becoming more and more diverse through the addition of different genders and skin tones, a new emoji with a hijab will become part of the iOS 11.1 update and has been approved to be part of Android emoticons.
It took 16-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi — who lives in Berlin and is from Saudi Arabia — to propose this inclusive emoji. She has been celebrated for the move by being named on Time’s 2017 30 Most Influential Teens list. With so many people wearing a headscarf, this initiative will allow a large level of inclusivity and much better representation.
It will provide more acceptance of different cultures, although some may argue that it sits as a sign of female oppression, it is being celebrated as a way for women who wear a hijab to feel more recognized in modern society. Women who wear a hijab will be able to use an emoji that finally represents them.
After initially submitting the idea to Apple, Rayouf learned to submit proposals to Unicode via a Snapchat story. The campaign talks about the driving force behind the emoji:
“The whole idea of the hijab emoji is to provide representation to people, so naturally we want it to represent as many people as possible.”
With the range of emojis increasing and embracing young people like Rayouf‘s initiative, more people are beginning to feel greater social inclusivity.