Barbie now wears a hijab

Mattell unveils hijab-wearing Barbie honoring American Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Ben Ariel ,

Ibtihaj Muhammad and the hijab-wearing Barbie doll
Ibtihaj Muhammad and the hijab-wearing Barbie doll

The U.S-based Mattell, which produces the famed Barbie dolls, has unveiled its first hijab-wearing Barbie, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The new doll honors American Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who made history at last year's Rio Olympics as the first U.S. Olympian to represent her country wearing a hijab.

"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," Muhammad tweeted on Monday.

The hijab-wearing Barbie is part of Barbie's "Shero" line which recognises women "who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls", and will go on sale in 2018, the company said, according to Reuters.

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

"By honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything."

It remains unclear whether the new hijab-wearing Barbie will be available in Iran. In 2012, the Islamic Republic banned Barbie dolls as well as the accessories with which they come, as part of the country's response to tightened sanctions against it by Western nations.

Other dolls in the new collection, according to Reuters, include African-American ballerina Misty Copeland, and filmmaker Ava DuVernay, director of Selma and the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time.