Gambia orders female workers 'to cover hair'

BANJUL - The Gambia's government has banned its female employees from leaving their hair uncovered at work, a leaked memo quoted by private newspapers says.

Women should use a "head tie and neatly wrap their hair", the memo said, without giving reasons for the ban.

Last month, Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh declared the Muslim-majority country an Islamic republic.

He added that no dress code would be imposed and citizens of other faiths would be allowed to practise freely.

The Gambia is popular with Western tourists because of its beaches.

Mr Jammeh withdrew the former British colony from the Commonwealth in 2013, describing the organisation as neo-colonial.

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