Saudia Arabia: Women banned from entering music shops

Saudi Arabia has banned women from entering shops selling musical instruments amid continued violation of women’s rights in the Arab kingdom, reported Al-Hayat, Press TV and Tehran Times on 3 July 2013

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Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice allegedly has ordered a number of music shops across the kingdom to install a sign banning women from entering, the Arabic-language Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

A blogpost from 2007 by Australian Richard Dawkins who worked in Saudi Arabia at the time shows, however, that the banning women from entering music shops is a new restriction to be introduced in the country.


Press TV – 3 July 2013:
Saudi Arabia bans women from music shops



“Women are generally banned from music shops, DVD/video shops, computer shops (particularly those that sell games) and other recreational areas such as video game arcades. Women are also generally banned from almost every restaurant in the kingdom, unless they are accompanied by their husband or a male relative. Unaccompanied women or groups of women are routinely turned away from cafes, restaurants and fast food outlets.”
Richard Dawkins, 20 September 2007


“Music shops in Saudi Arabia have signs that say ‘No Ladies Allowed’. Whenever we come across one, we scribble over it.”


csmonitor.com – 21 October 2013:
Saudi Girls Show Pen Is Mightier Than Their Lords
Behind their veils, many Mideast women are testing cultural and religious barriers. A series looks at three cases.


“If the ministry is serious about not contradicting our customs and traditions with music and dancing, perhaps it should consider curbing the Saudi ardhah at the Jendryyah, the annual cultural event in Riyadh, or place limits on the music played by young people to express their patriotism on National Day. (…)

These charity events are semi-private events and the government is demonstrating that it sees nothing wrong with intruding on our private lives and telling us what is appropriate behavior, although there is nothing really wrong with women modeling clothes for each other or properly dancing to music. Anybody can pull up a YouTube video and see far worse at a Saudi wedding party.”

saudiwriter.blogspot.com.au – 15 April 2009:
Music, dancing ban on Saudi women denies basic human rights