A German minister has refused to wear a hijab during a visit to Saudi Arabia – saying women should have the same right to choose their clothing as men.
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, was in Riyadh to meet Saudi deputy crown prince Salman Al-Saud, where she voiced her annoyance at the expectation that women cover up.
But she shunned traditional Saudi attire, opting instead for a dark blue suit.Her decision sparked anger on Twitter in Saudi Arabia, Al Bawaba reported.
Speaking of her refusal to wear full-length robes, known as the abaya, Das Bild reports, she said: ‘No woman in my delegation has to wear the Abaya.
‘The right to choose your own clothing is a right shared by men and women alike. It annoys me, when women women are to be pushed into the Abaya.’
The newspaper reported that although servants looked ‘astonished’ at the sight of the German minister in traditional dress, it did not spark any protests.
Von der Leyen followed the example set by US First Lady Michelle Obama, who was condemned in Saudi Arabia when she went bare-headed on a visit with her husband last year.
Daily Mail UK