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Saudi blogger urges Twitter followers to ‘harrass working women’

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Abdullah Al Dawood's comments have generated a region-wide backlash...

May 30, 2013 5:57 by



By Maha El Gazzar

When the notorious Saudi writer Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood sent a message for his 97,000 Twitter followers, urging them to molest as many working women as they can in order to keep them at home, he raised a few eyebrows (as well as a couple of hand gestures).

Using the hashtag #harass_female_cashiers, the self-help writer and blogger believes that the more working women Saudi men molest the more likely they will stay home.

To make matters worse, Dawood is receiving some support from “conservative” clerics. Some went as far as denouncing the law against sexual harassment, citing it is “only meant to encourage consensual debauchery;” while others wanted to ban the law altogether.

Nevertheless, his comments have generated a region-wide backlash, landing him in the hot seat. A number of his followers have denounced his comments; some even sent him death threats on Twitter.

The Saudi government has been recently encouraging women to join the workforce to fight unemployment. Needless to say this process hasn’t been going smoothly.

The country’s mild socioeconomic reforms have included allowing women to work in gender-mixed environments as a means to improve the economy. In 2011, a large number of women have responded to the government’s controversial reform, flocking mainly in the private sector.

Dawood’s advocacy is only part of many vicious campaigns that have been unleashed by ultra-conservative individuals and organizations, which are demanding the immediate withdrawal of the meager social and economic reform measures attempted by the government.

Of recent, Saudi women have been lobbying to be allowed to drive in the Kingdom; some petitioned to the king. Many men have also attacked their campaign, most arguing that women are not good drivers and will cause accidents.

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