A footage of a Saudi woman beating her harassers with a stick has gone viral on the internet. The woman is seen using a wooden stick to beat and chase the men away after they allegedly harassed her for dressing immodestly. The incident took place at a park in the capital city of Riyadh.
The woman can be seen swinging the stick at the crowd surrounding her. The men who allegedly harassed her can be seen running away while the rest of the crowd can be seen scattering. Unconfirmed reports state that the passers-by allegedly complained about her hair being uncovered, Daily Mail reports. Unconfirmed reports state that she is a social media personality in Saudi Arabia, and the men were allegedly following her to get a picture.
The video has received mixed reactions online. Many have praised the unnamed woman for her bravery in fighting back against her harassers, with one comment even labeling her as the “Saudi Wonder Woman.” But others have denounced the woman’s actions, saying that she shouldn’t have provoked the men walking in the park. One social media user wrote the following.
“No one would harass a modest, respectable woman. A woman who’s too out there and who dresses like this must handle what she gets. Some women dress provocatively and don’t want anyone to harass them. Have some shame and be modest if you don’t want that.”
A conservative Muslim country, Saudi Arabia has many strict laws against women, particularly with regards to the way they dress. Their dress code for women is based on a strict adherence to Islamic law and is enforced to varying degrees in different parts of the country. Most women are required to wear an “abaya” (a long cloak) and a “hijab” (a head scarf). Unlike before, women no longer need to cover their faces, but the religious police and even passers-by often known to harass women for either wearing too much make up or exposing too much flesh.
A new regulation was passed last year, calling for women to avoid dressing in abayas that had decorations in them. “No embellishment, no slits, no openings,” the regulation, which was called by a prominent cleric, stated. In an act of defiance, just two weeks after this, a video went viral on social media that showed a Saudi woman walking around an abandoned fort outside Riyadh, dressed in a miniskirt. The short clip caused outraged among conservatives in the country. The unnamed woman was later summoned for questioning by the police, but was released without any charges filed.