An Egyptian feminist group challenged Saudi Arabia’s “patriarchal” authorities in Cairo on Sunday, by standing outside the kingdom’s embassy while wearing short skirts, just days after a woman was arrested for wearing a miniskirt in the ultraconservative kingdom.
The group of women from ‘Girls Revolution’ said the move aimed to confront the “patriarchal attempts to dominate women’s bodies” and was a response to the recent arrest of a Saudi, known as ‘Model Khulood’, for posting a video showing herself walking around an ancient area while wearing a shot skirt.
The move was part of a campaign launched by young women in Saudi Arabia dubbed ‘Photograph Your Legs’.
The footage – which stirred controversy in the kingdom – was posted on snapchat by the 27-year-old earlier this week.
She was arrested for wearing “indecent clothing” but was later released without charge.
According to Khulood, the footage was posted for public viewing without her knowledge.
“She admitted to visiting the site in question with a male guardian, and that the viral videos were published by an account attributed to her without her knowledge,” a police spokesman told CNN.
Khulood’s arrest unleashed a social media storm, with many Saudis voicing both support for the model and outrage at her video.
“What about Hassan Jameel? Hypocrites,” one Twitter user asked, referring to the wealthy Saudi businessman who was recently photographed kissing singer Rihanna in a swimming pool.
Another Twitter user, Saudi writer Ibrahim al-Munayif, wrote that women should follow the rules of the country, where they are expected to be covered in public places.
“Just like we call on people to respect the laws of countries they travel to, people must also respect the laws of this country,” Munayif wrote.
Others cited the fact that access to pornography is largely unrestricted in Saudi Arabia – a country where the public separation of unrelated males and females is enforced.
Last year, a Saudi woman received death threats and had to deactivate her social media accounts after she shared an image of herself walking in the streets of Riyadh in a dress.