This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Dhruv Arora. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

A Bunch Of Men In Saudi Arabia Want To Cover Women’s Eyes To Prevent Male Gaze

More from Dhruv Arora

By Dhruv Arora:

What a ridiculous time to be alive.

Before you go ahead with reading this, let me warn you that this is not a news report, but an all-out rant.

The latest in patriarchy today is that a bunch of men in Saudi Arabia who like to run around and call themselves Saudi Arabian Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (who are, I imagine, often falsely abbreviated as the PENIS squad) are now seeking a ban on “tempting eyes” of women. This absurd move wants to make it necessary for women with “attractive eyes” to be forced to wear a full veil, seemingly for medieval reasons (unconfirmed). The group seems to be committed to drive home this agenda and claim that they “have the right (sic)” to force women to cover up anything that they may wake up with the realisation of having offense with. (Source)

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

This is supposed to somehow promote virtue and prevent vice, as the groups’ name suggests. In case you are wondering who qualifies as a woman with attractive eyes, an unnamed journalist from the country has broken it down for you. It may apply to women with‘uncovered eyes with a nice shape and makeup’, which was later broadened to ‘even without makeup’. ‘If they are beautiful, the woman will be in trouble,’ he added.

This isn’t owing to a misled idea of liberation, while many may have the opinion that veils should be okay as long as they are being worn consensually (here, consensually is both the keyword and the word most oft ignored), consent is not even a talking point here. Or perhaps it is, between the men in the society, because it really does not seem to matter what the women’s opinions may be in this situation. Women with opinions? Blasphemy!

The idea that men “have the right” over women in the society to make them go through hoops in order to not “invite trouble” is not a new concept, but even people who may support that preposterous notion may see that this truly is a whole new level of stupid. What adds to this problem is the unequal representation in positions of power, which often ends up being the reason why such moronic notions are actually accepted as norms and laws into societies.

To sum it up, let me break down the appeal and paraphrase it in order to add two words that might make this entire debacle much simpler to understand: “We have the right to do, so force women to cover up, because penis”.

You must be to comment.
    1. BASU

      Great job…

    2. Damien Hanet

      That’s normal. In Western Culture it is considered very impolite to not be able to identify someone you talk to. Also wearing something that prevents your identification is illegal except for some work or some special days, like carnaval where people dress up and hide their identities to do mischief.
      Basically, nobody hides their faces because it is hiding their indentity. And why would you hide you indentity except for doing trouble?
      Another point is that Western women have to follow the strict clothing rules of Saudi Arabia, in Saudi Arabia. Isn’t it normal that people going to Europe follow the same rule? (don’t roam naked and don’t cover your face if not necessary)

    3. cbc

      From being in ksa i have learned many things:
      SOME women in the west may be oppressed against ror wearing a hijab but in ksa ALL women are oppressed against for not being covered.
      Regarding the employment status.. most companies done allow women to work in them and even more recently are not allowing non-saudis to work in them.
      The problem in ksa is instead of the government educating its men and people to prevent unwanted happenings they force the women to cover up and obide to ancient laws…men look at women here wrongly so its the womens duty to be covered. Men try to converse with women in cars so the women arent allowed to drive..and so you see a pattern?
      Unfortunetly the governement brainwashes its people to think like them and any outsider is looked down is all justified by “the religion (sharia)” yet in the muslim religion it is opposite of so much of the governments laws and beliefs. Anyways to all the “barbars” out there..everyday the world is progressing and ksa is forced to progress with its and someday this hell hole will be an actual country and therefore i gloat in your face because there is nothing you can do about it!

  1. Babar

    What is more moronic are feminist rallies where they go topless and indulge in nudity, models going nude for fashion shows, nude protests for PETA, women going nude for magazines, nudity in art, movies, music videos, etc.

    1. Dhruv Arora

      I am so sure that someday, somehow, you will make sense.

    2. Cees Tompot

      You are the most optimistic person I ever met on line!!

    3. rifath

      I hate burkha.. I m forced to wear it.. N I get harassed by men lik u wen I’m in a burkha more than wen I’m nt wearing it.. I get it tat u hate women they intimidate u.. It will not degrade us.. We will remain strong and above patriarchs n misandrists lik u !!

    4. TheSeeker

      And what did you accomplish by saying that? The fact still remains that women do not have a say here.

  2. madhushri

    Saddened after reading this..can’t believe people can be so insane.! Moreover how can someone follow it and they have the power to make women follow such an act..
    Terrible !!

  3. Alvia Thahir

    Every time I see an article against Hijab or Niqaab I would like 2 requote deepika padukone’s “You got a proble m” tweet!

    Coz, its truly frustrating to justify your choice of attire to every dumb activist on earth!

    But, thankfully this article wasn’t one amongst them. And to clarify it, ISLAM doesn’t allow men to force such ignorant rules over women.

    So whoever this crazily abbreviated group are haven’t learned their religion yet!

  4. Templetwins

    Saudi Arabian Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice are none but the religious police in Saudi who enforces the sharia law. When a bunch of these religious police saw the husband of a woman being stabbed in the hand after an altercation by someone who was attracted by the womans eyes (makeup/mascara/eye-liner or otherwise) these religious police had simply proposed such a law(which is absurd), which will eventually be thrown in the trash can, meanwhile it gives ammunition to SJWs to cry sexism.

    Meanwhile in Saudi, they are trying to build a city/factory just for female workers committing gender discrimination against men, no one bats an eye.

  5. fathima

    It is I feel the worst place to be.. Sometimes I feel greatfull for not having born there and at the same time worry for females there- who too are humans but are not considered one.

    1. Babar

      Many girls are grateful to be born in the Middle-East, where they can roam freely in a burqa without being harassed and racially abused, where they feel human because they are not compelled to dress semi-nude to ‘fit in’. Thank you.

    2. Taniya

      I am an indian and a muslim who has been living in saudi arabia for the last 7 years. I am telling u what i see and know.
      1)There are some places in the makkah’s holy mosque where women are not allowed to enter.
      2)King Fahd University of petroleum and minerals which has a position of nit or iit in saudi arabia is an all-male university.There is only 1 mixed sex university-KAUST-run by saudi aramco.
      3)Only rarely I see women on cashier counters. But yet i do see women on streets with small kids begging for money and selling water.
      4)Saudi is a country where there are very few cases of rapes.yes.It is also a country where we see very few women standing on their own feet.
      5)Very rarely I see women in burqa roaming freely, Babar. Even in arab shops.
      6)In religious way, there is misunderstanding of islam. It is not so told in islam that a man can have 4-5 wives.I am serious not joking.check the no.of wifes of the saudi king( 11 wives ).Islam says education is must for boys and girls.
      7)Women whether educated in saudi or out of saudi are not to work in petroleum or mineral industries.

    3. Babar

      In Saudi Arabia, rape, molestation, and harassment of women is the lowest in the world. Furthermore, from banks to shopping malls to coffee shops to mosques, all have separate areas, spaces, and floors for women. The government spends the majority of its unemployment benefits on women. Shops selling female attire ban men from entering those shops unless accompanied by a female relative. In Saudi Arabia, women spend more in one day than most people earn in one month. Women are under no obligation to work, and even if they do, the husband still has to provide for them. Women do not have to contribute to the household. Compare this with girls all over the world working menial jobs, from BPOs to coffee shops to dishwashers to cashiers. Middle-Eastern countries are filthy rich, offering women a much more luxurious and healthy lifestyle than anywhere in the world.

    4. Babar

      And in the Middle-East, no one is going to snatch your headscarf or call you a terrorist for wearing a burqa.

    5. The Joker

      Dude, there is no FREEDOM in Saudi Arabia.

    6. Babar

      Yes, there is no freedom for girls to show their thighs and cleavage in public. Middle Eastern countries, Saudi Arabia in particular, do not treat women like meat, unlike their Western counterparts. Semi-nude images of women are not plastered on walls, there is no sale of adult DVDs, no one devises cunning methods to sell provocative clothing in the name of fashion, advertisements don’t feature women in skimpy clothing, girls don’t have body image issues, there is no STD epidemic, drug and alcohol abuse is unheard of, and rape is the lowest in the world.

    7. Babar

      And if Saudi Arabia is so bad, what are countless western expatriates doing there, where there are no taxes, petrol is cheaper than water, excellent salary packages, great food, where even in a modest job your company will provide housing, education for children, free airline tickets, among a host of other benefits which has seen westerners, including women, from all over the U.S. and U.K. leaving their so called freedom and settling in Saudi Arabia.

  6. Babar

    Mr. Arora, do you know that educated, independent Muslim girls in Europe, U.S., and Canada choose to wear the burqa, and are not ‘forced by their husbands’, as the U.S. media would like you to believe. Miniskirts and skimpy clothing are automatically seen as a choice, even though they are enforced through constant images in movies, magazines, music videos, advertisements, billboards, fashion industries, peer pressure, and a need to ‘fit in’, but if a woman wants to cover her body and save herself from lewd stares and wants to reserve her body for the gaze of her husband, it is immediately labelled oppression. Please talk to burqa clad women in India and abroad, and it will give you a broader perspective on the issue, instead of succumbing to theories of oppression invented by the U.S. – an imperialistic nation which thrives on human suffering.

    1. Voice of reason

      @Babar – You are a life long supporter of oppression to women in the name of “Nature and Society had decided roles for both men and women” and such shit. You have always supported islamic countries even though they suck and stink to the core, i pity those born in the middle east.

      you say that in middle east women can roam freely in burkha and that no one forces it on them, great let us even agree for a moment, but what if a girl wants to wear a mini skirt, what if she want to enjoy a drink, will she be allowed to do so. I agree that if some one wants to wear a burkha she should be allowed to but what if she does not want to, what if she decides on a skirt and a shirt, that should be allowed too, or is it that since you and pathetic people belonging to your circle feel its immoral for women to desire contemporary dressing and hence should not be allowed. You also mentioned west treating women as meat, but have a reality check, in most Islamic countries, Women do not have basic rights of education, job gender equality is non existent, Look at middle eastern countries, the number of wives that these sheikks have will give you a complete picture of how women are treated as a sex object and child producing machine.

      you idiot , you say women do not need to work in middle east, are you so dumb that you do not understand that may be many women like working, what about them?.

      honestly i do not think this BABAR is a real person, this is a publicity or marketing stunt which is used in such a fashion that you automatically respond. I cant beleive that such a bastard can exist as it will only show that he belongs to a very bad family, a family where the father had 3- 4 wifes, women were rampantly raped forced to wear burkhas, girls married off at tender age etc…. since all of this is not possible together, so here you go BABAR does not exist! I say this because, BABAR has spewed so much venom towards feminists and other general writers that one can only imagine the circumstances of his childhood….

  7. sahil

    in Saudi if you report rape you will be called a heretic and stoned or murdered. So people are not really going to be reporting it now are they. But for Babur Saudi is heaven.

    1. Babar

      Perhaps we can look in our own backyard before pointing fingers at others.

    2. Fem

      Perhaps we point fingers at both.

      Whose backyard its happening is irrelevant when it affects a human being.

  8. Girl

    Babar – You’re one of those guys that we despise in general.. Simply because of your shitty ideologies. I’ve got friends and family in Saudi – NONE of the women want to wear a friggin burkha. (They don’t wear mini shirts and walk around nude either – before you start ranting again). Whether you like it or not and whether you are going to agree or not, you will just have to accept the fact that Saudi tops the list for most oppressive place to live as a woman.
    Why does a woman have to cover anything? Are you a friggin animal? Can you not control yourself? If a woman’s body and skin bothers you so much, and if you can not control yourself or handle yourself in public, then stay the fuck inside. Lock yourself up inside your house and no one will care. Who do you or any of the male patriarchs think you are? What makes you all think you can dictate how a woman should be dressed?
    Bottom line is Saudi is an oppressive country. As a woman, it is the last place I would want to live. As a woman, I would much rather have my freedom and deal with the men who are assholes than live in Saudi and see the world through a black screen. I would much rather live in a country where I will not be penalised for bringing you to justice. I would much rather live in a place where I can walk around in shorts and if you lay a finger on me, I can give you a nice tight slap in public without having to worry about what your male run government will do to me. I would rather live in a place where I am not my husband’s sex toy and where I am not one of my husband’s many choices.
    The only thing going for Saudi is the fact that it’s tax free. If I get a swanky high-paying job in Saudi for a couple years, I would actually take it.. I’ll save a truckload and come back to my free democratic country that is not run by male patriarchs and I would enjoy it while wearing a nice short skirt over a drink of wine with my male and female friends alike with no one to stop me.
    In case you haven’t understood the point I’m making – You’re wrong. You’re quite stupid. You will never be right. You don’t have a sense of logic or reason. Please stay in Saudi because you wouldn’t be able to handle the real world where women have a say and don’t have to walk around in black ensembles. Oh and last but not least – You suck.

  9. Ann Inquirer

    Islamic countries are one big insane asylum when it comes to sex. Learn more from the koran. Women are only worth half a man. Females OF ANY AGE are covered because their curves harass men. These male supremacist fascists can’t control themselves, as all females are considered sex toys – even eyes can turn them on. This is ALWAYS THE FEMALE’S FAULT. That is why she can be stoned to death. She is in a catch 22. If she reports rape, it tells the vice squad she has sex without a husband, and that is a lashing or stoning offense.

    The worst is that Islam approves SEX WITH INFANTS, this is approved by the ayatollas. Google mufakhathat

  10. Khogen

    The only good thing about saudi is ban on porn and alcohol and women dont have to change surnames after marriage. Rest everything is Insane. And it is not because of islam, it is because of the sick arabic culture. And if u think rapes are low then let me tell it is damn undereported and defination of rape is very weak. Many cases which we consider as rape will not be considered rape their. Child marriage is legal, marital rape is legal, sex with slaves is legal. Moreover women have to take permission of their forget fathers, even husbands and sons, to just get out of the house. Such an insult to womenkind !!! All the Glitters is not gold, saudi is a good example of this. They are their just because they have oil money, nothing else.

  11. Vicheth

    14/09/2012My wife and i felt now fulfilled when Ervin maeangd to carry out his basic research out of the ideas he got in your web site. It’s not at all simplistic just to find yourself giving out thoughts which some people may have been selling. Therefore we already know we have you to thank because of that. The main illustrations you have made, the easy web site navigation, the friendships you can give support to promote it’s got everything astounding, and it is letting our son and the family reckon that that idea is brilliant, and that is highly serious. Many thanks for all the pieces!

More from Dhruv Arora

Similar Posts

By Shreya Fotedar


By Aditya Sharma

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below