A Saudi woman has been arrested by Saudi police after a Snapchat video of her walking around in public dressed in a miniskirt and crop-top emerged on social media. The woman’s attire goes against the strict Islamic dress code which is enforced upon women of the country.
In the video, which has since gone viral, the woman can be seen walking through a historic fort located in the desert region of Najd, which is often considered to be one of Saudi Arabia’s most conservative areas.
The video evoked significant response on social media and the internet. It sparked the creation of a Twitter hashtag that demanded her arrest, with several people claiming she openly disobeyed Saudi rules, which require all women residing in Saudi Arabia, including foreigners, to wear abayas in public. The abaya is a loose, robe-like over-garment that usually covers a large part of the body. Many women in Saudi also wear a headscarf and veil that covers the face.
Social media is very popular in the country and is used as a space to vent frustrations and gauge public opinion. The protest against the video and the opinions on the woman’s subsequent arrest reveal how deep-rooted and widespread conservative views are, in spite of several recent moves by Saudi Arabia to modernize and get rid of rules that do not belong in contemporary society.