In its relentless drive for women’s rights, Saudi Arabia has introduced a radical new law that comes into force this month. This great leap forward abolishes the requirement that restaurants must have separate entrances for men and for women. It also scraps the law that requires women to sit behind partitions or drapes so they cannot be seen by male diners. “Saudi Arabia Makes baby Steps Towards Gender Equality”.
Expect this relaxation to create a backlash from traditionalists. After all, women need to remove their veils to eat. God knows what will happen if single, testosterone-charged men see women eating! Perhaps some clever designer will invent a new head-covering with an ingenious mechanism that allows food to be passed behind the veil and into the mouth using gears and electric motors? It could work, but I can’t help wondering what would happen if the timing is a bit out and the device feeds the poor woman faster than she can eat! Sorcerer’s Apprentice anyone?
- Top 10 Worst Nations on Earth for Gender Equality are All Islamic
- Zimbabwean woman gets statue in NYC for championing gender equality
To be fair, Saudi still has some way to go for equality in restaurants. Although gender-apartheid has now gone, women are still not allowed to be waitresses–that job is strictly for males (except in some women-only restaurants).
In other gender equality-news, there has been a change in Saudi divorce laws. The marriage contract is still officially between the husband-to-be and the father of the bride and men can still divorce their wives by repeating, “I divorce thee” three times and the husband still does not have to say that in front of his wife, or even tell her he has divorced her. But in the interests of equality, in January this year, a new regulation came into force that requires the court to send the wife a text message to advise her that she has been divorced. Well, that’s OK then.
Here is my tip. If you want gender equality don’t take your rules from the Iron Age. We have learned a lot since then.