Saudi women-only city? Look again
A misreported story sparks debate over employing the Kingdom's women.
- A women-only industrial city dedicated to female workers is to be constructed in Saudi Arabia to provide a working environment that is in line with the kingdom's strict customs. The city, to be built in the Eastern Province city of Hofuf, is set to be the first of several planned for the Gulf kingdom.
- What would a city made up of only women be like? It’s a question that people have pondered throughout history -- sometimes with high-minded intent, sometimes for cheap thrills. Herodotus wrote of the Amazons, female warriors who were said to enslave men to reproduce; Hollywood gave us the sublimely terrible 1958 science fiction movie Queen of Outer Space, in which Zsa Zsa Gabor plays a Venusian scientist on an all-female planet where some American male astronauts have been forced to crash-land. (The men struggle against their mini-skirted oppressors, prevail, and presumably get lucky.)
- Um…no words. This is just - baffling. 1) If they still can’t drive, how will they manage to get to work, or will everything be within walking distance to their houses? 2) Will women run *everything* in this city? 3) Only 5,000 jobs to be created? That seems low; I thought the population was much higher. I guess it’s a good start.
- From Modon’s website and Al-Rasheed’s interview, it’s apparent that the “women” part comes from the novelty of having women allowed on a manufacturing site and not that it will be completely operated from A to Z by women. In a country where the Highest Islamic Council has on it’s website a fatwa discouraging people from allowing women to specialize in scientific fields and where the number of women who have experience in industry is somewhere around zero, it wouldn’t be business-savvy to open a whole industrial city for women. It would be basically opening a ghost town and burning millions of dollars.
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