Dozens of women in Saudi Arabia are standing guard in Mecca for the first time to help secure the hajj annual pilgrimage, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Female soldier Mona told the news agency that she joined the forces in honor of her late father, who also served in the military. Mona decided to join the army and become the first group of Saudi women soldiers to work in the holiest places in Islam, where they help ensure the Hajj. Dozens of women soldiers have been part of the security services since April. watch over the pilgrims in Mecca and Medina.
Dressed in a military khaki uniform, with a hip-length jacket, loose trousers and a black beret over a veil covering her hair, Mona spends her shifts roaming in the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
Mona Said During Interview “I am following the steps of my late father to complete his journey, standing here at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the holiest place. To serve the worshippers is a very noble and honorable task”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 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.
Samar, another soldier watching pilgrims near the Kaaba, said she was encouraged by her family to join the military, after psychology studies. “This is a huge accomplishment for us and it is the biggest pride to be in the service of religion, the country and the guests of God, the most merciful,” she said.