In March 2018, Saudi Crown Prince hinted that Saudi Arabia might relax rules on women’s dress code.
Rabat- Several Saudi women have freed themselves from the Saudi dress code. Traditionally, women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to go out without wearing abayas, long black public robes.
Mashael Al Jajoud is one of the women who defied the dress code in Saudi Arabia, posing for photos wearing an orange top and a white paint with high heels.
Photos show Al Jouloud walking with pride in a Riyadh mall have gone viral.
The photos of the 33-year old woman stirred debate on social media. In the viral images some Saudi women and men wearing abayas and staring at Al Jouloud. Some wondered if the woman is a celebrity.
Al Jouloud shared a video in July, emphasizing that she was not allowed in a mall as she was wearing “indecent clothes.”
The video shows the Saudi woman wearing a white top and a black pair of trousers.
Al Jouloud was not the first one to defy the dress code, other Saudi women have also started wearing “western clothes” encouraging the female population of Saudi Arabia to do the same.
— Eman al-Hathloul (@EHathloul) September 12, 2019
— مشاعل بنت عبدالعزيز (@m80h93) July 5, 2019
Manahel Al Otaibi, a Saudi activist said in an online post that she has been living in Riyadh for four months without wearing an abaya.
She added that she wants to live “the way I want, freely and without restrictions. No one should force me to wear something I don’t want.”
In an interview with CBS TV, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia hinted that his country had ruled relaxed provision on dress code for women.
“The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of Sharia [Islamic law]: that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men.”
He added, “This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya or black headcover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear.”
In past years, Saudi Arabia announced a series of reforms to increase their freedom.
In August, Saudi Arabia published decrees allowing women over the age of 21 to apply for a passport without authorization and travel without the guardianship of a man.
Previously, women were required to seek permission from their guardian, usually their father or husband, to marry, apply for a passport or to leave the country.