PHOTO: Merkel ignored special dress-code during visit to Saudi Arabia

Wed, 03.05.2017 15:38

Angela Merkel promised to raise the issue of women's rights with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and the German leader followed through on her word, all without wearing a headscarf.

Chancellor Merkel chose not to cover her hair or wear a traditional flowing black robe upon arrival in the kingdom, which has a strict dress code for women.

In what was Merkel's first visit to the kingdom in seven years, the German Chancellor told journalists she had pressed the Saudis on women's rights, the war in Yemen and other sensitive issues.

Merkel herself backs a ban in Germany on civil servants wearing face veils and on face covers being worn in public schools and courts and by car drivers.

Most Saudi women wear the full face veil, known as the niqab, in line with the kingdom's conservative Wahhabi interpretation of Islam.

Merkel acknowledged there have been "significant changes in the role of women" since her last visit in 2010. She cited the historic first-time participation of women in Saudi Arabia's only elections for local council seats in 2015. She noted, however, that women in Saudi Arabia still face many restrictions.

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Source: arab.com.ua

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