The veil is such a norm in Saudi Arabia that many women feel rather naked when seen without it. Due to the unwelcome publication of photos of bare-faced ladies taken at women-only events like weddings or school graduations (where veils are dropped), the Saudi government instituted a ban on cameras and camera-enabled cell phones at these events. Times have changed, though, according to this piece from Saudi Gazette. Now, it’s almost impossible to find a phone without a camera and people have become so attached to their phones that they are loathe to surrender them. Rather than ‘punishing’ an entire group for the misbehavior of some, women are suggesting that the actual miscreants be punished.
End camera-phone ban in weddings, say women
Doha Ghouth | Saudi Gazette
JEDDAH – Many young Saudi women detest the societal norm to ban camera phones in women’s sections during weddings and graduation ceremonies.
They call it absurd that such conservative norms exist in the 21st century. Moreover, they say it is problematic for women to leave their mobile phones outside the wedding hall and many a time they end up losing their phones.
In a Saudi Gazette survey of 300 females in the age group of 20-45, 95 percent of women own smart phones, 4 percent own camera phones and only 1 percent have a secondary non-camera phone.
“Personally, I understand the reasons for concern, but I believe having surveillance is enough,” said Dr. Niven Farid, a psychologist. She says trust in people can be developed through installing means of surveillance. That would put an end to absurd norms. Many women dread social events like weddings or graduation ceremonies because they feel they are deprived of what is their property.