The 1979 Iranian Revolution and subsequent Grand Mosque Seizure in Saudi Arabia caused the government to implement stricter enforcement of sharia.Saudi women who were adults before 1979 recall driving, inviting non-mahram (unrelated) men into their homes (with the door open), and being in public without an abaya (full-body covering) or niqab (veil).
The system is said to emanate from social conventions, including the importance of protecting women, and from religious precepts on travel and marriage, although these requirements were arguably confined to particular situations.
His first wife, Khadijah, was a powerful businesswoman who employed him and then initiated the marriage proposal on her own.
Enforcement of the kingdom's strict moral code, including hijab and separation of the sexes, is often handled by the Mutaween (also Hai'a) – a special committee of Saudi men sometimes called "religious police".
Moreover, that same poll found that more than 8 in 10 Saudi women (82%) and three-quarters of Saudi men (75%) agreed that women should be allowed to hold any job for which they are qualified outside the home.
A poll conducted by a former lecturer Ahmed Abdel-Raheem in 2013 to female students at Al-Lith College for Girls at Um al-Qura University, Mecca, found that 79% of the participants in the poll did not support the lifting of the driving ban for women.
Many Saudis do not see Islam as the main impediment to women's rights.