27 Ridiculous Things Women In Saudi Arabia Aren't Allowed To Do


While we are advanced enough to able to take photos right next to Pluto, the fact that women are still not considered human beings in Saudi Arabia is unfortunately still a thing. These women might indeed have the most difficult life. Saudi Arabia scored 134th out of 145 in the Gender Inequality Index. Here are the major restrictions these women face.

1. All women, including foreigners, have to wear black and abaya. They have to cover themselves from head to toe, neither to be seen.


If the revealed region around the eyes is too wide, they have to shadow this part with a transparent textile. They aren't allowed to wear colorful abaya so that they don't attract men's attention.

2. Women make up only the 5% of the work force in Saudi Arabia, and they are mostly only allowed to work separately from men. This country has the lowest rate of women in the task force.


The Ministry of Labor, the Islamic religious police office, and male citizens opposed the government when it supported the notion of increasing employment opportunities for women.

3. While women didn't used to be allowed to drive, now they can (with limitations).

The reason given for this ban was that  it could lead to "western life style" and "erosion of the traditional values."

4. Three young men were deported because they were "too" handsome and could cause women to sin.


5. The Islamic police force, put together by the state, follow women everywhere -just like a shadow- and control if women act according to sharia or not.


6. While women could work as a cashier before, a fatwa forbade it because it meant that women would be in the same room as men they weren't related to, which is against sharia.


7. If a woman takes a cab without a supervising male relative, she is seen as immoral.

Women are also not allowed to ride a bike.

8. Women aren't allowed to sit at a cafe without a "family section." Let alone sitting, they are even not allowed to order takeout from fast food restaurants if the cashier isn't separate.


A Jordanian-American businesswoman was arrested because she was sitting at a cafe with a male business partner and was sentenced to prison. The only place where men and women are allowed to sit together is the section which is separated by a curtain. When this woman was tried, the first thing she heard from the judge was: "You sinned and you will burn in hell!"

9. The couple who is supposed to get married aren't allowed to see each other. The mother of the man goes and sees the bride-to-be and "asks to take her" if she likes her.

They aren't even allowed to get engaged, date or flirt.

10. Saudi Arabia is building cities where only women will be allowed to work, in order to include more women in the workforce.


A city where even a male fly isn't allowed.

11. Women don't have the right to vote and run for election


Fortunately, they voted for the first time during the elections at the end of 2015.

12. Saudi Arabia was the only country that didn't send any female athletes to the Olympics until the 2012 London Olympics.


The athlete ranked last, but there was a female athlete from every country for the first time!

13. In some parts of the country, female circumcision is still mandatory.


14. It is almost torture for a woman to eat in public: they have to eat under their face veil.

That's why some of the restaurants have separate family sections. Male waiters aren't allowed in these sections. They shout outside of the folding screens and the men of the family go and take the food and drinks so that women can just take their veils off and eat and drink like a normal person.

15. In court, the testimony of two women is equal to that of one man.


Women can mostly testify in personal cases, when there are no male witnesses. Their testimony is mostly invalid, even in rape cases.

16. The women, who are too scared of the Islamic religious police to go out alone, have to have their husbands' or fathers' permission to leave the country.


17. Riyadh is the only city where women can use public transportation. There are separate sections for men and women, though.

Women get on the bus through a separate door and travel in the part that is designated for them.

18. Cinema was forbidden for 30 years, but it came to Riyadh for the first time. The women weren't allowed to see the movies that men and girls under 10 years could watch.


19. One of the most prominent muftis of the country said that exposing both eyes is arousing and that's why women should wear special veils, exposing only one eye.


This guy also told women not to wear make-up.

20. Women are allowed to go to a university, but they have to be separated from men. If the professor is a man, they can only follow the lecture with a video/audio system.


21. In case of a divorce or widowing, the women is given the custody of her son only before he is 7, and her daughter before she is 9.


After these ages, the custody of children has to be given to the father or the father's family. Moreover, a woman receives alimony from her ex-husband only for three months.

22. Women aren't allowed to be judges at the court, or have any other high government job.


23. In Saudi Arabia, if a woman doesn't make coffee for her husband, it is grounds for divorce.


24. Women can't open bank accounts on behalf of their kids without their husband's permission.


They are actually not allowed to go into a bank without a man accompanying them. That's why special branches are opened, where women employees help women customers.

25. Although it isn't forbidden for women to work, there are some conditions involved for her to be able to find employment.


1. The woman has to need money to live.

2. The workplace has to be women-only: men and women are not to interact.

3. A working woman shouldn't neglect her duties at home.

4. The job can't require the woman to travel without being accompanied by a men she is related to.

5. The husband's permission is required for a woman to be able to work.

26. The supreme court sentenced a 19-year old woman in 2006 to 200 whips and 6 months in prison for having intercourse with a man after she was attacked and raped by 7 men.


27. A female doctor isn't allowed to treat a male patient; but a male doctor can treat a female patient, depending on the family and the relatives of the woman.


We all heard it in the news that a 24-year old young woman, who was having a heart attack, died after 2 hours when the male doctors weren't permitted to treat her.

The witnesses said that the authorities didn't allow treatment because the patient wasn't covered properly and because men aren't allowed where women are.

In Mecca, in 2002, 15 female students died in a fire in a girls' dormitory when male firefighters weren't allowed in the building.

BONUS: Another religious authority 'forbade' women from touching food such as bananas, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, etc; claiming that these look like male genital organs and that could cause women to have sexual thoughts.


This ban is in effect in Egypt and Saudi men will surely support it.

Saudi guys, weren't you the ones who said "The heaven lies at the feet of mothers?"

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