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Amelie Le Renard

The Politics of "Unveiling Saudi Women": Between Postcolonial Fantasies and the Surveillance State

[Wall surrounding a gated community, Saudi Arabia. Image by Amelie Le Renard.]

With the consolidation of the Saudi state starting in the 1960s, the regime has progressively imposed unified dress codes for Saudi men and women, that for the latter has meant wearing a long, black cloak [‘abaya] and veiling. Various state institutions, like schools, universities, and the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice—commonly referred to as the “morality police” or “mutawi‘a”—have increasingly rigorously monitored women’s strict dress codes, ...

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Amelie Le Renard


Amelie Le Renard is a permanent researcher and sociologist at Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Paris.