Saudi women in ‘inside-out abaya’ protest

BBC News reports:

Some Saudi women have launched a protest against the abaya – a long loose-fitting robe used to cover their bodies in public – by saying that they will wear it inside out.

Twitter user Howra said she would begin wearing the abaya inside out “to protest the customs and state regulations that mean we are under threat if we dare to show our identities”.

“We have to work full-time with the niqab [a face veil] and abaya because, the argument goes, the place is mixed. This is a heavy burden for a person to bear,” she added.

Last year women were given the right to drive – but many of the female activists who campaigned for it have been arrested under an apparent crackdown on dissent.

There are many things that Saudi women are unable to do without permission from a male guardian, usually a husband, father, brother or son.

These things include, but are not limited to:

  • Applying for passports
  • Travelling abroad
  • Getting married
  • Opening a bank account
  • Starting certain businesses
  • Getting elective surgery
  • Leaving prison

The guardianship system has helped create one of the most gender unequal countries in the Middle East.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-46222949

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