This week, journalist Ginella Massa became the first anchor in Canada to wear an Islamic head covering while presenting the news.
Panama-born Massa – a reporter for CityNews in Toronto – anchored her first newscast on Friday, and spoke to The New Arab about what she called an “important milestone” for herself and the country.
Despite its significance, Massa tells The New Arab that the move has been a long time coming, given Canada’s pride in its diversity and pluralism.
“It feels pretty amazing to be recognised as the first,” she said. “But it’s also a shame that it has taken this long in a country as diverse as Canada.”
Nonetheless, Massa remains highly appreciative of the move by CityNews to put a Muslim woman in a hijab as a headline presenter.
“I’m really thankful to work for a station that sees the value in hiring staff from all walks of life, who actually reflect the diversity of community we are reporting in.”
Massa hopes that being on screen will alter Canadians’ perception about the potential roles of Muslim women in society.