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No Boys Allowed

Yemen gets its first women-only internet café as an attempt to keep the fairer sex safe from harassers.

Sisters are doing it for themselves, using the internet that is, as they launch Yemen's first 'no boys allowed' internet cafe in an effort to keep women safe from creepy sweat-soaked losers. A group of empowered Yemani ladies have thrown off the shackles of male oppression by opening an oestrogen fuelled internet cafe in the capital Sanaa.

Girls Café – which, ironically, is designed to give women a chance to surf the web in a pervert free environment – is bound to resemble some sort of all girl slumber party (pillow fights may or may not take place). Despite the pyjama party overtones, the café has been opened with a serious purpose in mind – combating the problem of sexual harassment.  

Sabah al-Khaishani, a mass communication professor at Sanaa University, claims the cafe will go some way to tackling the issue of sexual harassment, which she (rather uncomfortably for some here at CairoScene) includes next to the word 'flirting'. She said:

“The Yemeni woman finds it hard to find the right place to go to and this is a problem. The public parks are open and they are beautiful but they are also places where the percentage of sexual harassment and flirting is very high.

“So places such as this cafe are good because they mainly attract women customers and are trusted.”

Of course, this development comes just weeks after a study showed that Yemen is one of the worst countries for women in the Arab world (not as bad as Egypt, though).

While some may agree that the cafe is a welcome development designed to keep women safe – many argue that the Arab world's sexual harassment shame can only be solved by changing the behaviour of sweaty no hoper men rather than innocent women just going about their daily lives.