No men allowed!

IMAGINE the secret-society feel of a British private members’ club mixed with the casual dress of a pyjama party. That is the atmosphere of Luthan Hotel and Spa, a women-only establishment in Riyadh, the austere Saudi capital.

via Segregation in Saudi Arabia: No men allowed! | The Economist.

Of course women don’t want to be confined at home, so the wealthy women of Saudi Arabia are finding a safe have in “women only” facilities.  These include spas, gyms, and one floor of the ritzy Kingdom Mall.

 Curves, an American gym chain, has found favour by offering its facilities to female fitness fanatics unencumbered by their men. The new trend means more jobs for women too. In the Luthan, female porters, cleaners and IT staff cater to the guests’ every whim.

Since they can’t drive, they still need men to take them there.  But things are changing, much too fast for many clerics.

 Some Saudi clerics have campaigned for women-only gyms to be shut down; one preacher declared that sport could cause women to “lose their virginity”.

However, as more women join the workforce change is inevitable.  How can you run an office where the men and women are keep segregated?


No Flogging This Week

Saudi Arabia postponed a planned flogging of blogger Raif Badawi for a fifth consecutive week, Amnesty International said Friday.

The human rights watchdog said through Twitter that Badawi was spared lashes for unknown reasons.

via Saudi blogger Raif Badawi spared flogging again this week – The Globe and Mail.

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