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Barbie has unveiled its first hijab-wearing doll in the likeness of an Olympic fencer who made history at Rio 2016.

Ibtihaj Muhammad was the first US Olympian to compete wearing the traditional Islamic headscarf.

She also won gold in in 2014 at the world fencing championships in Russia.

The new Barbie doll, produced by Mattel, is part of the Shero line which recognises women “who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls”.

Posting on Twitter, the Olympian said: “I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab! This is a childhood dream come true.”

Barbie’s marketing vice president Sejal Shah Miller said in a statement: “Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented.

“By honouring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything.”

Other dolls in the collection include ballerina Misty Copeland, and Ava DuVernay, director of Selma, a film about the US civil rights movement.

Many Muslim women cover their heads in public with the hijab as a way to protect their modesty, although critics see it as a sign of oppression.

The dolls will go on sale in 2018.

World News – Breaking international news and headlines | Sky News

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