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Friday, May 04, 2012

Saudi women's only village bans "indecently dressed" and "tomboys"

From Al Arabiya:
An all-female village in Saudi banned women who are not dressed conservatively or dressed like men from entering the village grounds in an attempt to combat “alien” phenomena that violate social traditions and spread negative practices.

The Women’s Village in Sakakah, the capital city of al-Jawf Province in northwestern Saudi Arabia, issued a statement banning the entry of women who are deemed to be “dressed indecently” as well as those who look or behave like men, the Saudi newspaper al-Sharq reported.

The statement, which was sent by the village administration via mobile text messages, was issued after a large number of girls engaging in behavior that contradicts the conservative character of the Saudi society started frequenting the village and taking part in many of its activities.

In several women-only parties, the statement explained, teenage girls dressed in revealing clothes or maintained a manly appearance and some of them performed what was seen as “provocative” dances, considered not in line with social norms of the place.

“Those phenomena are alien to our society and do not reflect its conservative character. That is why they need to combated and have their causes uprooted,” said the statement.

The clampdown on “indecent” behavior is not the first in Sakakah. The village administration had issued an earlier statement banning visitors from entering with mobile phones with cameras and prohibiting events that involve noisy music and dancing.

The implementation of such resolutions is overseen by a team of Saudi security women who are in charge of maintaining law and order in the village and detecting violations committed by visitors throughout the year.

The decision of the Sakakah administration is also not the first to target tomboyish girls as they are also banned from entering public schools and universities together with men who maintain an “effeminate” or “punk” appearance.
So if you are a woman in Saudi Arabia, you cannot even dance in front of other women!

Other articles make it appear that makeup is also prohibited.

I cannot find out much about this women's village; it certainly does not take up the entire town. And since cameras seem to be forbidden, there are no photos except for the outside gate.

I wonder if they built roads for cars in this "women's village"?