A call has been raised by women in Oman asking authorities to look into their demand for a female-only beach.
A petition, which has been signed by over 10,000 people, was started by Munira Salim al Maskery, on Change.Org, where she asks fellow women to participate and be heard.
“We had the opportunity to enjoy that experience at the Six Senses Spa at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, in the past. However, it is closed. Even with the Bustan beach open, it had a limit to the number of parties that can attend, restrictions and fees that many women might not be able to afford,” she said.
Munira said women go to the beach fully covered and in their abayas, in this heat, just to stay modest as they watch their children play.
“We need a place where we can enjoy the beach comfortably, one which is open to all women. We women can’t enjoy going to public beaches, in which we could swim or just enjoy the sun and we are asking the government to consider this appeal,” she said.
Many women in Oman are of the view that such facilities are the need of the hour.
“Indeed, I signed the petition because we have always wanted such a facility. It is not easy to enjoy the public beaches where men are also there. We have to keep our modesty but sometimes it is difficult. We need to be free and by allocating a special beach for women, many women will be comfortable enjoying Oman’s beaches in full, swimming or simply being around in a more free way,” said Hamida al Adhoubi from Seeb.
Others said women-only beaches can be made possible because Oman has long beaches and some portions can be demarcated for women.
“It is a matter of allocating specific areas that can be somehow fenced. I think this is also done in other neighbouring countries. I hope authorities accept the women’s petition,” said Amerat resident Fatmah al Naamani.
Men too were supportive of the move saying this will not only help women have peace of mind but men too.
“Sometimes, I allow my family to go alone to the beaches to enjoy when I am busy with other things but I worry about their safety. Once there are women-only beaches, then we men will not have to worry so much because I am sure there would be security there too provided by the authorities,” said Moosa al Abadi, a father of two girls.
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