Saudi Arabia may have taken a tentative step towards more rights for women by allowing female representation on the Kingdom's Shoura Council
, but attitudes in the male dominated country remain entrenched in the past.
reported one unenlightened Saudi man on a domestic flight turned on the stewardess who was about to serve him, shouting "why are you here without a related male companion?"
He then demanded the stewardess, along with all other unaccompanied women, be removed from the fight. After his outburst delayed the flight for two hours it was the male passenger who was removed from the flight.
The man's attitude was not unique. A Saudi Gazette
reporter suggested to a male compatriot during a recent flight that Saudi air hostesses may be a good idea. He received the reply “You want our girls to work as air hostesses? How dare you!”
Saudi women are not allowed to travel abroad without the permission of a male relative. The Kingdom's strict segregation laws prevent Saudi women working in many fields, including as stewardesses.