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SAUDI ARABIA: Women searching for change

In the capital of Saudi Arabia, more women no longer consider mandatory the niqab, which covers the face, except the eyes. This is especially true for women who don’t feel obliged to walking the streets covering their faces, opting instead for the hijab, the Islamic veil that covers the hair, sometimes even with strands of their hair showing, combined with colorful abayas or cloaks instead of the traditional black color.

“I know families in Riyadh in which the youngest sister can now walk even without a scarf on her hair in some places,” said Rawan Al-Wabel, a mother of three and a healthcare worker.

In late September last year, about 15,000 women signed a petition which they sent to the government, calling for an end to male guardianship.


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