Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SR 1,000 Fine on Woman caught not wearing Hijab

Women are also human beings like every other man is on this planet. They have a right to be respected. We have been seeing women being disrespected since a long time and even those were the times when they were banned from going to school. However, with the passage of time, women were seen to be winners, as schools were built and fathers were seen to enrol their daughters there. Keeping schools apart, women have seen to be facing difficulties in every other field that they chose to be in. A lot of problems were faced by women in processing documents in the government office because of the fact that the women’s offices were at the back of the building and were comparatively too small then the men’s office that was at the front side of the building and extremely spacious too. 

However, women were given job opportunities when the number of female graduates increased and so did the rate of female unemployment.  The ministry of labour emphasised on giving job opportunities to women with separate sections where they would not mix with the men. This was seen as a positive step taken by the ministry of labour in Saudi Arabia since it gave an open way to women to freely work without any sort of hesitation or pressure from men. The ministry of labour, however, recently announced a fine of SR 1000 on women who were not seen to be wearing hijab while at work. It sounds very strange, but this fine amount is way higher than the drivers who break the red traffic signal.

Why would one fine a woman for not wearing hijab and on the other hand not fine a man who breaks a signal and puts other’s precious lives into jeopardy? It is not even clear what hijab is the ministry talking about. Do they want women to cover their faces and only show their eyes as they do in turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia? Some women in these countries are not only seen without hijab, but roam about wearing jeans and shirt.

 However, it would be great if the ministry would make it clear about the type of hijab they are talking about and how they want women to cover while at the workplace.  It can however not be neglected that the ministry wants the best for the women. But imposing a fine on them for simply not wearing a hijab is something which I do not understand. Ministry has several female consultants and inspectors who can be put on a duty to check every woman at workplace and convince her if she is found without a hijab rather than imposing fines.

It simply leaves one to wonder what the ministry will do while working with large companies like Saudi Aramco, where there are several American women and others too who work without a hijab. Saudi women have a perfect sense of what to wear at work and what not to. May be it is not the right way to make them wear Hijab.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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