Photographs of Saudi Arabia’s first female Hajj and Umrah security guards on duty have gone viral on social media platforms as soon as they were released by the Saudi Ministry of Interior.
The pictures captured the women guards in security uniforms looking after the safety of worshippers and pilgrims, while ensuring that all Covid-19 related precautionary measures were being complied with.
Taking to Twitter, the ministry captioned the post: "From the field, security of Hajj and Umrah."
However, some netizens and activists have criticized this measure. They feel that the presence of women in military uniform in the Grand Mosque in Mecca is inappropriate.
In February, the Saudi Ministry of Defence announced that men and women in the Kingdom could apply for positions in the military through their unified admission portal. Women can be recruited as soldiers, lance corporals, corporals, sergeants, and staff sergeants.
Saudi Arabia's recent move to allow women to break the glass ceiling and climb the ranks in its internal security forces is amongst a series of reforms enacted by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz to promote and further the rights of women in the country.
Under his Vision 2030, Saudi women will be allowed to participate in various disciplines and in roles previously limited to men.