Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Body: Female: Gulf and Saudi Arabia
(898 words)

As in many cultures across the Islamic world, dress and bodily aesthetics in the Arab Gulf countries emphasize gender difference through contrast. So while men wear short hair and trim body hair with razors, women wear long hair and depilate using halāwa, a lemon-sugar paste, or depilatory creams and sprays, but do not shave. The ideal materials of female adornment are silk and gold jewelry, while the sunna prohibits men from wearing either. A matching set of gold bracelet, necklace, earrings and ring is given by the groom to his bride when they marry; thus gol…

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Wynn, Lisa, “Body: Female: Gulf and Saudi Arabia”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0159b>
First published online: 2009

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