Three steps forward and ten years back. That may be what rights for women in Saudi Arabia feel like and especially with the latest edict by the Commission for the Protection of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV). Sheikh Motlab al-Nabet spokesman of the Ha’eal district, said the committee has the right to order a woman to cover her eyes if they are viewed as too tempting or alluring.
One Saudi man was admitted to the hospital after he engaged in a fight with a CPVPV member ordering that his wife cover her eyes. The husband suffered two stabs to his hand which required medical condition. At least this husband was sticking up for his wife but it then makes one wonder that how far will the CPVPV go to enforce this ruling?
Crown Prince Nayef has been known as a hardliner and supporter of the CPVPV. Does this mean that the Muttawa feel more confident of greater powers? Will reforms and gains for Saudi women now take steps backward?
Why should women be punished and forced to cover their eyes because a man from the CPVPV believes her eyes are too alluring? What is the Muttawa doing looking into women’s eyes???
What do YOU think? Is this mandate too extreme? Would mandating women to cover their eyes lead to other steps further isolating the Saudi woman? How should Saudi women react? How should an expat woman react to such an order?
During the period of time when my mother-in-law was growing up, the Saudi woman did not cover her head. She did not wear an abaya. She would wear a traditional thobe for women. The CPVPV were not a force of fear. They did not exist. I do feel that history repeats itself and that eventually the Saudi women is going to gain her rights. I just hope that this time will come soon.