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Women in Saudi Arabia

In Riyadh and in Jeddah, though not in a few more liberal places such as Qatif, the clerics—who always opposed female participation in the elections—have stopped the new female local councillors from sitting in the council chambers with men.

But to clerical consternation, (veiled) women now operate the tills in Ikea, a Swedish furniture outlet, in a poorer part of Riyadh, and men and women queue in mixed aisles. 

At the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology outside Jeddah, male and female students attend the same lectures and mingle freely.

Architects of new office blocks locate male and female toilets on the same floor.

Most Saudi women have yet to take the liberties their Iranian counterparts do with the veil.

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