A Saudi woman was recently harassed by religious police for wearing nail polish in a shopping mall in Saudi Arabia. She videotaped the exchange and uploaded it to YouTube. In three days, the video went viral, racking up almost a million views.
Under new laws, the religious police are no longer allowed to harass violators of the strict Islamic religious rules. They are allowed to make suggestions on how to behave, but that is all. In the video, the woman is heard standing up for herself and defending her right to wear nail polish.
Recently there have been other trends toward greater freedoms for women in the Kingdom. Black veils and robes, or abayas, are slowly being replaced by more fashionable, colorful abayas made out of more comfortable fabrics. And last year, YouTube videos began to surface that show women in Saudi Arabia driving, an activity that is strictly forbidden by religious police.
The video made by the woman in the mall has sparked a passionate dialog about the rights of women in Saudi Arabia. As adamant defenders of freedom and expression, we proudly support these courageous women and their right to make their own choices.