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General Court in Riyadh retracts ban on unveiled women

File photo of Saudi women queue for a pop concert at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in the Riyadh. (AFP)
JEDDAH: The General Court in Riyadh amended the decision to limit the entry inside the court to veiled women. Women can now enter courts without the need to cover their faces, as long as they dress modestly and adhere to the court’s dress regulations.
The court replaced a circular issued last year by the court’s president in which he stressed that women would not be admitted to the court if they are not dressed appropriately in revealing garments or without the face being covered.
Shoura member and associate professor at King Saud University Dr. Eqbal Darandari told Arab News: “Any applicant frequenting a government department is expected to uphold and adhere by its dress code. Courts of law, specifically, are governed by religious sanctions, which calls for women to dress accordingly in modest attire.”
In response to the news she said: “That, however, does not mean that we restrict all women under a specific Islamic sect, as there have always been differing opinions and sects when it comes to hijab. I’m sure everyone is grateful and appreciative of such a decision, as it helps the court to provide women with all needed services.”
She also believes it will enable women to feel more comfortable in frequenting courthouses, for when they dress as they regularly do, they’ll feel welcome and at ease.
Hala Abdullah from Riyadh told Arab News: “I was ecstatic, of course. It’s not just a step in the right direction – it’s completely necessary and couldn’t have come sooner. Proper representation of women in the courts of law cannot take place if we’re literally and figuratively invisible. We need to be seen.”
@iPhonjy responded with a tweet saying: “Finally, true Islam is slowly but surely returning to Saudi Arabia.”

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