Princess Mary of Denmark chooses to not wear headscarf during Saudi Arabia tour

Published March 1st, 2016 - 09:41 GMT
Michelle Obama sparked controversy for not covering her hair during a trip to the kingdom last year. (AFP/File)
Michelle Obama sparked controversy for not covering her hair during a trip to the kingdom last year. (AFP/File)

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has opted to not wear a headscarf during a trip to Saudi Arabia. The princess and her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, are spending five days in the kingdom on a controversial visit being labeled as an “export promotion” trip. Princess Mary follows Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton in visiting Saudi Arabia without wearing a headscarf.

The trip caused controversy in Denmark, with human rights organizations and opposition members of parliament criticizing the plans due to the kingdom’s poor human rights record.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the most fundamental regimes in the world, where women are not allowed to drive and where death sentences are given for being homosexual,” opposition MP, Mette Gjerskov, said.

Trine Christensen of Amnesty International Denmark, condemned the visit to Ritzau news agency in January, citing the recent execution of 47 people by the Saudis.

“The timing could not be worse. Saudi Arabia celebrated the New Year by beheading 47 people, after a year that saw a huge increase in the number of capital punishments and also reduced freedom of speech. Sending a delegation of the reported calibre at this time sends a very symbolic signal that what is going on is acceptable,” Christensen said.

Some consider not wearing a headscarf in the conservative country as making a statement for women’s rights, while others consider it impolite.


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