Women-only Eve Mall: conservatism strikes back?

This fascinating story (Arabic) in today’s Al Ghad newspaper, tells of the opening of Eve Mall in the northeastern Jordanian city of Mafraq. The idea is to “free women from the intruding glances of men”, so that women and girls can “act spontaneously” and shop at ease in a “purely feminine” environment.

The article quotes a number of women who are enthusiastic about the idea, but also quotes other women and men who consider this a step backwards and a form of segregation.

It’s a pretty complex issue. For one it’s a story of women entrepreneurship! But it’s also a sign of the conflict we have with modern, urban life. I don’t think the answer is in women only facilities (reminds you of Saudi?). I certainly can understand the ‘practical’ aspect of such projects, considering how intrusive and annoying some men are in our society.

What would be really useful is a heavy-handed crackdown on sexual harassment on Jordan’s streets. Get sexual harrasers publicly arrested by male and female police and shame them in public! Heavy fines would be useful too. I know this is a fantasy but one can hope. Until then expect to hear more Eve Mall stories.

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9 Responses to “Women-only Eve Mall: conservatism strikes back?”

  1. Hani Says:

    The idea of the project seems nice, affording an option for women who can’t shop while there are men around… But Mafraq??! I mean how many customers does this mall expect per day? Why not make their first try in Amman?

    On another point, if a mall opened for males only, would the owner be judged to be discriminator against women?!

  2. kinzi Says:

    does this mean no men selling bras in the lingerie store? If so, I’m planning a trip to Mafraq!

    It is so refreshing to hear a man acknowledging the harassment issue…. thank you SO much!

  3. Hani Says:

    Kinzi… they are inforcing the lingerie stores to recruite females only here in Saudi Arabia… I heared ladies are way too happy with this governmental decesion which came after lots of studies!

  4. Firas Says:

    The whole region is being more religious these days!
    In cabs, Mecca malls,shops.
    Won’t be surprised to see an Islamic government in Jordan within the next 8 years.

  5. hamede Says:

    Iagree with hani and kinzi.

  6. Roba Says:

    As a woman, I find this harrowing. This will only add to the levels of discrimination and harrassment. Yeah, sure, a lot of the male salespeople lack tact here- but opening a women’s mall doesn’t help on that level.
    Then again, this will provide with more jobs for women, but can’t we find a better way?
    I hate how conservatism is getting higher and higher! Where are the liberals?

  7. Roba Says:

    On a side note, the women’s colleges that opened in Jordan weren’t successful on a financial level in the longrun so they had to be turned co-ed.

  8. salam Says:

    Why not?if a woman feels better shopping that way..there has to be this choice and whoever wants to shop there can go and whoever wants to shop elsewhere can go there too.Anyways,i ‘ve seen some pools with ladies-only days where all the workers were men.It was all right for men to ogle the ladies with their eyes as long as they didn’t swim along!

  9. Anas Rababah Says:

    i can’t see it special at all,
    jordan is going to be eve jordan,

    as i am a guy, i can’t join any activity just like parties if i’m alon or with a male friend,,
    even shopping in mecca mall or most of bars and resturans..

    so nothing new in eve mall.. its just new way ;)

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