Women-Only City Proposed For Saudi Arabia

    August 14, 2012
    Sean Patterson
    Comments are off for this post.

For the economic powerhouse that is Saudi Arabia, women are a conundrum. On one hand, the country’s conservative religion precludes women from showing their skin or even driving a car. On the other hand, the country’s leaders realize that women are a large portion of the population, and one that could help sustain its economy.

To that end, Saudi Arabia is planning an entire city that will be inhabited exclusively by women. It is part of an effort to appease ambitious females in the country while still adhering to Sharia law, which prohibits women from interacting with men in certain ways.

The Daily Mail is reporting that the Saudi Industrial property Authority (Modon) is designing the city, which will be built in the city of Hafuf. Construction on the project is set to begin next year, and officials estimate that 5,000 women will find jobs in the city working in the textiles, pharmaceuticals, and food processing industries.

The plans for the city are, not surprisingly, controversial in the west. Though some marginal women’s rights progress is being made in the country, such as women being allowed to vote in Saudi Arabia’s 2015 elections, they are still looked upon in that country as lesser than men. From the Daily Mail article:

“I’m sure that women can demonstrate their efficiency in many aspects and clarify the industries that best suits their interests, their nature and their ability,” Modon’s deputy director-general, Saleh Al-Rasheed, told Saudi daily newspaper al-Eqtisadiah.

This year’s Olympic Games were the first in which Saudi female athletes were allowed by their country to participate. They won no medals, and there was controversy about what clothing the athletes would be allowed to wear while competing.

(Photo by Ali Mansuri via Wikimedia Commons)

  • Muhammad Asad

    Do the men here think so little of these women to have them think they are doing the gender a favor by building them a city for themselves to work in textiles which equates to housework? These women will not accept these absurd requests. I find the women beating the men’s ass in these countries not too far away. Women will be commanding the armies and whooping the males for being donkeys. I am a male, but I root for the women!

    • Nicel

      I couldn’t have said it better myself Muhammad Asad. Thank you!

  • superwoman

    Men have always been afraid of women, as they should be. We are smarter, prettier, and stronger (try giving birth if you don’t believe it). Women don’t wage endless wars for temporary so-called power at the expense of innocent lives. We don’t need men to perpetuate the human race, it can be done in a test-tube. And since the modern man shrinks (no pun intended) from his responsibility of nurturing their children, women must take up the slack, and she does a heroic job with love even while surrounded by weak, dopey idiot madmen. So watch out buster, your near-useless presence is about to be edited, but most of you will never figure it out so maybe you should pack your raggedy clothes and head to the hills in your mama’s car and start your own village of pantywaists. Alas, there is little hope for this world until the great females unite and kick your sorry ass to the gutter where you feel most at home. Eat dust!

    • Sandra

      Women are not better than men and men are not better than woman. You’re acting like women are the best thing that ever happened in the entire universe and all men = crap.

    • Jayne

      The test tube is useless unless the guy filled it, so I guess we still need them for something

      • schrodinger

        Yup, because a vibrator can’t mow the grass. :)

    • Dave

      “Stronger”? Have you compared the averages of upper body strength? Or perhaps the measurement of pain of child birth vs. passing a kidney stone? Or even the size of the heart between men and women? “Near useless presence”? “…done in a test tube”? Have you been taught the basics of anatomy? “Responsibility of nurturing their children”? Where has that been spelled out? Your extremist tirade is useless if not entertaining. Sadly, you are mistaken and your contributions to this discussion are as pointless as they are hilarious in their ignorance of basic facts.

  • C.Chew

    Religion is responsible for many of the absolutely stupidest decisions ever made by human beings … and that’s an understatement!!!

  • NightMoves

    What idiots! So, if you’re afraid of plutonium, the solution is gather it all together, in one box? What they should have done was build Macy’s around the perimeter of every city and stand back. Then, they could punish sinful Muslim men, by chaining them to the half off tables!

  • thomas fox

    You stay classy Saudi Arabia.

  • Indeeanna

    How will it be decided which 5000 women can enter the city? How will the city be kept from becoming a sweatshop, or prison type area and how will men be kept from entering the city if it is for women only, since women have no rights and once inside the city will they still have freedom to come and go from the city…I guess that question goes back to the prison type enviroment?

  • sukina

    An all women city controlled by men…..LOL

    • Jayne

      tee hee!

  • dr g

    This just in: City floods in period blood and over-the-mail diet shakes.

  • Jayne

    How about building a special city just for the men?? Then the women and children can finally live in peace.

  • steve haygood

    In the 21st century, it is so sad, so frustrating, and yes, so maddening that so many people are still living in the Dark Ages.

    • schrodinger

      Actually, I think this is quite a creative solution. While I don’t prescribe to Islam and don’t agree with the majority of their precepts, I do like the idea that the country recognizes womens’ ambitions and is trying to come up with a solution that fits the religious laws. Remember that there are other countries besides Islamic nations where religion plays a big role in secular life. Think about Italy and Catholicism, for one…

      I do have to wonder, though… since the city is all women, would they be allowed to dispense with the hijab and burka?

      • V Thomas

        “I do like the idea that the country recognizes womens’ ambitions…” Thank you for the support, Schrodinger. As an ambitious and highly motivated young woman, I, too, would aspire to “…working in the textiles, pharmaceuticals, and food processing industries”

      • Sue R Lang

        There’s conservative Christian women much worse off than this.I know of some that think they can’t work or have an opinion because they’re women.There’s women in the US who think they have to be totally owned by their husband.

  • pearl

    and without the women, the idiotic men there will die off… have they forgotten that part?
    How about rounding up all the men, after all, they ARE the ones who appear to have the problems with self control and egos!
    Cart the A hole men there off to a secluded part of the desert and leave them there to rot! Bet you that the remaining citizens will prosper and move forward!

    • Sue R Lang

      I find it offensive where that stupid guy says”their ability” what??? When will religion view women as individual people!I’m tired of all religions catagorizing abilities by gender.Christianity is notorious for this too.

  • keith

    Who’s going to guard the gates from all the horny men trying to get into an all female city?

    • Sue R Lang

      Women get horny too! Geez men! When will you men ever realize women have the same needs!

  • Sue R Lang

    I agree with you Muhammad! The men in these countries don’t even like these idiotic ideas.It’s the government there that allows this nonsense and those strict might I say un-islamic clerics.There’s nothing in Islam that says women have to have a seperate city.Saudi Arabia is a freak show.

    The women can create their own army behind their city and take over.

  • Sue R Lang

    They didn’t explain how married women will see their husbands after work.I guess the husband has to drive his wife to the city and then pick her up at the end of the work hour.This world is becoming so crazy because of religion.I have to say in the own country the United States,we have ultra conservative Christian women who won’t get a job or leave the house without their husband’s permission.These patriarchal religions are so stupid and bad for everyone!

  • Adriana

    In a country like Saudi Arabia, a step like this is pretty much needed to gain women’s liberation.
    My guess is that, an all-female city will be a restrictions-free zone: Within that perimeter, the women need not wear “Abaya” (black outer clothing compulsory for all women), they can all drive, work any job, and don’t need male-guardianship.
    If that is the case, then i fully support the all-female city…

  • Adriana

    Btw, in an all-female city, how will these women travel from their home to work, where will their family live and what will their pay be???
    Are only Saudis allowed here?? Are expats restricted??? Are only single, unmarried women given permission to work here??

    I have heard that in the ARAMCO company zone, a lot of women work in various jobs and that as long as they are in that zone, they can drive, discard “abaya” and do anything..
    Will it be the same in this female city???
    Yes, this is a creative solution…creates financial independence for women…a necessary step to female-liberation in Saudi Arabia…
    But, it isn’t it sooo much SIMPLER to just pass a law that women can drive and that “abaya”s are banned ???
    And as Keith, here, has asked already – who is gonna guard the gates and keep the men away – women guards???
    female police???

  • http://www.girlgene.com Marsha

    Separate, but equal. Now where have I heard that before? It won’t work in the long term and ignores basic physiology. Are these all single women? If married, (remember this is an Islamic country,) what happens when they have male children? Is the child excluded from the community? Do the women only work there? Or do they also live there?

    How are you going to reintegrate women who’ve had these types of freedoms back into the general population?

    I have more questions than the article has answers, and at a glance, this sounds like one of the silliest ideas I’ve ever heard.