Saudi Crown Prince Says Women Can Choose Their Own "Decent And Respectful Attire"

"The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear."

  • On 19 March, US-based CBS News reported about Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's first interview with an American television network

    • In the CBS interview, Prince Mohammed talked about his thoughts on Iran, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and the kingdom's recent development in women's rights.

      According to the report, he is currently empowering women, introducing music and cinema, as well as cracking down on corruption across the country.

  • About five minutes into the interview, Prince Mohammed agreed that men and women are equal and criticised "extremists" who "forbid mixing between the two sexes"

    • "We are all human beings and there is no difference," he told Norah O'Donnell, co-anchor of CBS This Morning.

      In a report by Scroll.in, Prince Mohammed also told O'Donnell that his government is working on an initiative to introduce equal pay for men and women

    • On top of that, Prince Mohammed cited the 1979 Iranian Revolution as the reason behind Saudi Arabia's "intolerance" since then. 

      "Women were driving cars. There were movie theatres in Saudi Arabia. Women worked everywhere," he said. 

      "We were just normal people developing like any other country in the world until the events of 1979," he added.

  • Speaking on Saudi women's dress code, Prince Mohammed said there was no specification regarding black abaya or head scarves in the Syariah law

    • "The laws are very clear and stipulated in Syariah, that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men," he said in the CBS interview.

      "This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya or a black head cover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear," he added.

      Abaya is a loose-fitting, full-length garment worn by some Muslim women.

  • Saudi Arabia has implemented a string of reforms in terms of women's rights since September 2017

      • C53a Image via Scroll.in
        Image for illustration purposes only.
    • Saudi women will be allowed to drive starting June 2018 in a royal decree last September. 

      In January, Scroll.in reported that the Kingdom is allowing women to enter stadiums, and has opened applications for women to join its military in February. 

  • What do you think about Prince Mohammed's statement on abayas and head scarves? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Previously, Saudi women have defied the kingdom's driving ban:

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