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Saudi women on the prowl
Saudi men claim women are stalking and harassing them at the workplace. Makkah’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is looking into the complaints.
July 5, 2009 9:00 by Ibtisam Sheqdar
“I told her that I wasn’t interested and advised her to fear God. Another woman called and, while I was helping her, she began singing. I told her I was still on the line so that she would stop singing. She said she knew and asked for my mobile number. I told her that we do not give our private numbers to customers. She then read out her number and said she would be waiting for my call,” he added.
Khaled Hussain, a human resource employee at a private company, has experienced his fair share of sexual harassment. He says that women often contact him looking for jobs, even though there is a special department that deals with women applicants.
“One day, a lady called me on my mobile. It was 12.30am. I wondered how she got hold of my number and then she told me she wanted to apply for a job. I told her to call in the morning,” he said. “Exactly at 9 am the next day she called me on my mobile phone and asked about vacant jobs. Then, all of a sudden she said, ‘I’m in bed right now.’ I told her that we would call her when we found a suitable job for her. She called again that day at 10.30pm and I had no choice but to switch off my phone,” he added.
“She called the next day at 2pm and started to talk about how attractive I was and how lucky my wife was. I ended the conversation and stopped answering her calls. She waited for several days and called me again to tell me she was well connected and offered to provide me with any type of assistance I needed from government departments. She asked me to send her my photo and promised to send hers. She then spoke words that I cannot repeat. I switched off the phone and changed the SIM,” he added.
Tarik Albar does not believe that women harassing men has become a phenomenon in Saudi society. “These are isolated incidents involving women suffering from mental problems. There are some hysterical women who love being ostentatious. They sometimes use a lot of makeup to draw attention to themselves, but deep down they have no intention of harassing men,” he said.