A new poll shows that Saudi men blame women for the rising number of molestation cases, owing the abuse to women wearing too much makeup.
The Riyadh-based King Abdul Aziz Centre for National Dialogue surveyed 992 men and women over 19 years old, reporting that 86.5 percent of men believe that women’s excessive makeup is the cause of rising female molestation in public places in Saudi Arabia, Emirates 24/7 reported.
80 percent of the total respondents believed the increase was due to the lack of anti-molestation laws and penalties to deter perpetrators. The somewhat paradoxical responses continue with 91 percent saying that “poor religious sentiment” is a key factor, and 75 percent blaming the lack of public awareness of the issue.
Most Saudi women almost completely cover their bodies in public, so their eyes and eyebrows are their only visible feature. Men then blame women for "seducing" them with their accented features.
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The behavior of Saudi women is strictly regulated by religious laws, which dictate how they must dress and require that they receive permission from a male guardian to work or study. Though laws recently changed to allow women to work in retail, Saudi women are still not permitted to drive, though some are protesting that ban.
Prominent Saudi author Abdullah Mohamed al-Dawood stirred up controversy when he seemed to encourage men to harass women new to the workplace with a tweet reading “#harass_female_cashiers.” He later claimed the message had been misinterpreted, and that he’d meant that female cashiers would face harassment in the workplace.