For The First Time, Saudi Women Stand Guard In Mecca During Haj

For The First Time, Saudi Women Stand Guard In Mecca During Haj

Since April, dozens of female soldiers have become part of the security services that monitor pilgrims in Mecca and Medina, the birthplaces of Islam.

Andrew H. Sweet

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed through social and economic reforms as part of plans to modernize the conservative Muslim kingdom and attract foreign investment under a diversification drive.

Under his reform plan, known as Vision 2030, the crown prince lifted a driving ban on women, allowed adult women to travel without permission from guardians, and granted them more control over family matters.

But the reform plan has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including on women's rights activists.

Saudi Arabia has restricted the haj to Saudi citizens and residents for the second year in a row, barring millions of other pilgrims from abroad in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the original story here.

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