Muslim Indian social worker denied job for wearing hijab

An Indian social worker says she was denied a job at an orphanage based in the Indian capital of New Delhi because her recruiter felt that her hijab made her look “like a Muslim lady”.

“Everything was going smooth, we exchanged many emails,” Nedal Zoya, a graduate from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, told Al Jazeera.

“But a few days ago, I got an email stating that ‘I am sorry to inform you that even [from] a distance of one kilometre you look like a Muslim lady due to your external Muslim gears’.” This comment was referring to her hijab, a headscarf worn by many Muslim women who feel it is part of their religion.

After being short-listed by the Delhi Orphanage for Girls in October for the post of a social worker, Zoya was asked, by Harish Varma, the president and CEO of the orphanage, to give an online test and send a picture of herself to.

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