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
Cases of sexual harassment usually involve men as the perpetrators and women as the victims. The tables are, however, turning, as men report increasing incidence of women harassing them, usually in the workplace.
Muhammad Naif, a young Saudi who works at a store, said a woman entered his shop and asked for his number before leaving. “I gave her the shop’s card, which had a landline number on it. She then asked me to write my name on the back, which I did. She then left,” said Naif, adding that the woman began ringing him at work every day.
“She would ask to talk to me saying she had something urgent and important to say. She kept asking me for my mobile phone number, but I politely declined. She would ring me every day for five days in a row,” he said.
“On the fifth day, she called and asked me to come out of the shop because she was waiting for me outside. I refused. She asked if I was afraid and I said yes. After that, she began to come in front of the shop and stood there, looking at me. I did not pay her any attention. I was not quite sure what she wanted. Maybe she wanted to play around and I was not ready for that,” he added.
Saad Hamza, a call center employee at a private establishment, said it is regretful that there is a steady rise in the number of women harassing men. “One day, a woman customer called and asked for a certain service. I told her that this service could be done through the automatic telephone system. She quickly answered, ‘What if I gave you a kiss?’ I was taken aback,” he said.