No tight ‘abaya’ in Saudi soon

Saudi Arabia is set to ban women from wearing tight abayas (gowns) in public places following a surge in harassment incidents, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Shura (appointed parliament) in the conservative Gulf Kingdom will debate the decision shortly at the request of a female member, Sada said.

It quoted “informed sources” as saying the decision would authorize the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the country’s feared religious police, to arrest woman who violate the new rule.

“The decision follows a large increase in incidents involving harassment and molestation of women,” it said.

“According to the sources, the Shura is expected to unanimously vote in favor of the new rule which bans women from wearing tight abayas in shopping malls and other public places in the Kingdom.”