Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cultural Dissonance Pt. II

At the International Islamic Bank, there is a men's branch and a separate ladies' branch right alongside it.

The dean of the Shari'a department at Qatar University may be a woman, the wife of the Emir may be the driving force behind the Education City initiative, the Director of the gazillion-rial new Museum of Islamic Art may be a woman, but there is still a separate ladies' branch at the bank.

Some women say that having a separate ladies' branch, or floor at the mall, or other such facility, gives them a way to conduct their business without being bothered by men, and they can remove their face scarf without the possibility of molestation. It still feels (in my Western mind) a tad odd to me.

I guess I haven't been here long enough...

1 comment:

Laura said...

Ah yes, the women's entrance/quarters/whatever. That gets my goat too. I find it frustrating that rather than have men just NOT molest women, the women are given a separate entrance.