These are the Places Where Women Aren’t Welcome
And while feminism gets stronger every day, it seems that it can’t change ancient rules that are forbidding women to attend certain places around the world. The reasons can be many– religious, purely traditional and at times chauvinistic. The following places are definitely not women-friendly.
1 Voting Booths
Of course, not everywhere in the world, but certain places like Saudi Arabia and Vatican City. In Saudi Arabia, women have no rights to vote, nor to speak in the election of their local and state government officials but, they are expecting this to change in 2015. King Abdullah, the head of one of the most rigidly Islamic countries, has been trying to get women involved in areas which don’t conflict with Sharia law. In regards to Vatican City, even though there aren’t actually voting booths or elections, there is one occasion in which voting is held: the election of the new Pope. Since only cardinals under the age of 80 can vote, and only men can be cardinals under Catholic rules, women can’t vote in Vatican City, and this rule isn’t going to change any time soon.
2 Haji Ali Dargah Shrine
This place is located in Mumbai, India. The Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque, and tomb, dedicated to a 15th century merchant named Pir Haji Ali Bukhari, who gave up all his possessions and made a pilgrimage to Mecca. Made a saint in Sufism, an offshoot of Islam, Bukhari’s memorial was originally open to both sexes; however, in July of 2012, a fatwa was issued, denying women entrance to the inner sanctum, in accordance with Sharia law. While the decision was mostly met with begrudged agreement among the female patrons, a number of women’s groups have raised their voices in protest, demanding equal treatment.
3 Tour de France
While competing against male cyclists would put them at a distinct disadvantage, the Tour de France is one of the only major sporting events without a female counterpart. There was one in the past, the Tour de France Féminin, but it was canceled in 2009. Despite increased pressure, the director of the race refuses to organize female Tour, claiming the size of the men’s race is too prohibitive to allow time for a women’s race.
4 Morehouse College
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Morehouse College is the last remaining, non-religious, University in the United States which only allows male students. Some of the most famous laureates were Spike Lee and Martin Luther King Jr. This has been a historically black school since its founding in 1867. Like many of the major universities in America, it started as an all-male school; however, it has refused to change with the times, maintaining its status as a segregated place of learning. The biggest reason given for the separation: men study better when they’re not distracted by women.
5 Iranian Football Stadiums
This only applies to events in which men are participating because as Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani said: “Women looking at a man’s body even if not for the sake of gratification is inappropriate.” Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, women have been barred from various sporting events, even celebrations, although the rule was almost overturned in 2006, by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of all people. He was rebuffed by the Muslim leadership of the country. The name of the largest stadium in Iran, Azadi Stadium, translates to “freedom”. Oh the irony!
6 Mount Athos
Mount Athos is an island off the coast of Greece which has been home to Christian monks since the 5th century, as well as a number of monasteries. Women are banned from the island for two reasons: one – the leaders of the monasteries want the monks to remain celibate and they fear that women being allowed would make that too difficult (even though women have successfully infiltrated their ranks, with a few even writing about their experiences.) and two – the Virgin Mary was said to have visited the island on her way to visit Lazarus and she claimed it for herself, blessing the inhabitants if they followed her command