In order to make women ‘more obedient’ and ‘well behaved’, a strict Islamic district in Indonesia has banned men and women from having dinner together unless they are married, or related.
The Aceh province, which operates under Sharia Law, announced that they would stop unmarried couples from eating together.
The country is the most heavily populated Muslim majority country, and Aceh is the only region that imposes Islamic law and has come under fire numerous times in the past for putting moral restrictions on women.
It has also attached the attention of the world for publicly whipping people that were found guilty of homosexuality, gambling, and drinking alcohol.
Women in the Bireuen district on the Sumatra island will not be able to share a table with a man at restaurants and coffee shops, unless they are accompanied by their husband or a close male relative, according to the latest Islamic regulation.
Even co-workers will be forbidden to share a meal on their lunch break.
The head of the local sharia agency, Jufliwan, said:
“The objective is to protect women’s dignity so they will feel more comfortable, more at ease, more well-behaved and will not do anything that violates sharia (Islamic law).”
Yet another part of the directive said that women who were alone or not with their families will not be served at restaurants and coffee shops after 9:00 pm.
Provincial capital Banda Aceh banned unaccompanied women from entertainment venues like sports halls or coffee shops after 11:00 p.m. three years ago, and yet another city in Sumatra ordered women to sit “side-saddle” on motorbikes, with their legs on one side only.
A woman was caned 23 times in 2016, after being caught in close proximity to her boyfriend.