Quebec's Status of Women minister calls hijab a 'symbol of oppression'

Quebec's new Minister for the status of women wasted no time letting her thoughts on the hijab known.

During the news conference announcing her appointment to the role, along with her portfolio of junior education minister, Isabelle Charest was asked about the head scarf worn by some Muslim women.

"For me the hijab is not something women should be wearing," Charest responded when asked by a reporter. "It does have some significance about oppression of the women, the fact they have to cover themselves up and for me it is not in my values."

"I think women should be free to wear what they want."

The comments come as the CAQ government presses forward with its controversial plan to ban certain public sector employees in positions of authority, including teachers, police officers and judges, from wearing religious symbols in the workplace.