The United States First Lady, Melania Trump, ignored protests by her husband, United States President Donald Trump during their visit to Saudi Arabia. She did not cover her head on Saturday, the way he requested.
President Michelle Obama made a similar decision in 2015, which was praised by liberal media as a depiction of a strong woman, despite it insulting the Saudi Arabians.
The kingdom over there has a very strict dress code for women, which forces visitors to the country to wear a loose black robe called an abaya in public. Melania was having none of that.
Most women as also forced to cover their face and hair using a veil called a niquab. This head covering is not mandatory for visitors though.
Although she did not wear an ‘abaya,’ Melania was still dressed conservatively, always displaying her classy side. She wore a long-sleeved, black pantsuit, which someone would have to dig deep to call indecent.
And best of all, she let her long brown hair blow in the breeze as she was exiting the king Khalid International Airport, which sent a message of freedom to women everywhere,
On visits earlier this year, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also shunned head coverings. Then-first lady Laura Bush generally went without covering her head, though she once briefly donned a headscarf that she received as a gift.
Hillary Clinton, on trips to Saudi Arabia as Obama’s secretary of state, also did not cover her head. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, a senior White House adviser who is also accompanying her father, also left her head uncovered.
Saudi Arabia adheres to an ultraconservative interpretation of Islamic Shariah law where unrelated men and women are segregated in most public places. Women are banned from driving, although rights advocates have campaigned to lift that ban. Guardianship laws also require a male relative’s consent before a woman can obtain a passport, travel or marry. Often that relative is a father or husband, but in the absence of both can be the woman’s own son.