In a significant stride towards women empowerment, dozens of female soldiers have become a part of the security services that monitor pilgrims in Mecca and Medina, the birthplaces of Islam.
First #Female Hajj and Umrah security guard while on duty at the Grand Mosque ( Masjid al-Haram) in #Mecca. This is the first time that female guards have been deployed in Masjid al-Haram. These pictures were released by @MOISaudiArabia #Hajj #Umrah pic.twitter.com/RRxiX72aGV
— Umar Meraj (@umarmeraj) April 22, 2021
For the first time, Saudi female soldiers are standing guard in Mecca as thousands of Muslim pilgrims take part in this year’s hajj, Deutsche Welle reported. Women dressed in military khaki uniforms were seen monitoring the security situation in the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Along with khaki, they were sporting a hip-length jacket, loose trousers, and a black beret over a veil covering their hair.
People across Twitter hailed the feat. Scores of users called it a key step towards women empowerment.
“First time in the history of Makkah a female Saudi Guard performing duty during #Hajj
— Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) July 21, 2021
Also for the first time ever, a female guard held a press briefing of Hajj to brief on security and traffic plans for the Hajj.
While adhering to COVID-19 protocols, thousands of vaccinated Muslim pilgrims gathered at Mecca to perform Hajj. The Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam, will conclude with the Eid al-Adha celebrations.
According to Al Jazeera, 10,000 vaccinated Muslim pilgrims circled Islam’s holiest site in Mecca on Sunday but remained socially distanced and wore masks as the coronavirus takes its toll on the Hajj for a second year running. Previously drawing some 2.5 million Muslims from all walks of life from across the globe, the Hajj pilgrimage is now almost unrecognizable in scale.
This year, 60,000 vaccinated citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia have been allowed to perform the Hajj due to continued concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. It is a far greater figure than last year’s largely symbolic Hajj that saw fewer than 1,000 people from within the kingdom taking part.
(With ANI Inputs)