Recently, we heard how thousands of female students were banned from entering the Maulana Azad LIbrary citing their ability-in the words of the Vice chancellor- to ” attract a lot of young men”. News of revolt by Saudi Arabian women for their rights to drive keep reaching us everyday.

There are several other bans which are imposed on women in different sections of the society which we might find weird sitting in our armchairs. Some of them are archaic but have not been done away with because of the efforts on the part of the Congress that it would take in the US. As a result, women end up paying the price for it. On the other hand, some of them are new bans imposed by extremist governments or village panchayats . Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Saudi Arabia banned women/girls from buying Barbie dolls in 2003

We know women in Saudi Arabia can not vote (as of now), but they can not even buy a barbie! A barbie doll is seen to stand for luxurious excess and physical beauty. Fulla dolls were introduced which were seen as more acceptable for girls.


2. A single/divorced/widowed woman can not skydive on Sundays in Florida

You will probably read this sentence again and again to figure out what this can even mean. Yes, it’s odd. This is one of those bans that are not strictly enforced but are used against women violators in certain cases.

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3. There’s a ban on a woman of “ill-repute or evil looks” to enter a cheese factory in Ferrara

So a woman’s right place might be the kitchen but not a cheese factory. And no, we don’t know what a woman of “ill repute or evil looks” is or how they go about determining this. But cheese is definitely more important than a woman’s rights in Ferrara.

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4. Women can’t wear false teeth in Vermont

Not unless their husband gives them written permission allowing them to do so.

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5. In Arcadia, women can’t drink coffee after 6 p.m.

One can only wonder why. Because caffeine would mess up with the eight-hour-beauty-sleep regimen?


6. A law in La Paz forbids married women from drinking wine

A little wine is allowed, in the presence of the husband of course. However, if the husband thinks she has had a sip too many, he may divorce her citing her morally and sexually lax behavior.


7. Trying more than six dresses is banned for women in Joliet

A woman who is caught breaking this law may be arrested, lawfully.


8. Women are banned from proposing marriage to a man in Whitesville, Delaware

Yes. If reported, they could be charged for disorderly conduct.

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9. Driving a car is banned for women in Memphis*

*She could drive if there was a man in front of her car, waving a red flag to warn other people and cars.

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10. A woman is banned from walking around nude in her hotel room in China

Women are however, “allowed” to be naked in the bathroom.

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11. Women below 40 years were banned from shopping in Asara vilage (UP)

A village panchayat in Asra village (UP), prohibited women below the age of forty from visiting the marketplace in 2012. The panchayat also advised against the use of mobile phones by girls.


12. A woman can’t wear pants in Tucson, Arizona

A woman is allowed to wear breeches only if she is riding a horse or a bicycle.

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13. There’s a ban on a woman ordering drinks after 10 p.m. in Andhra Pradesh

Girls can’t even hang out in pubs, clubs after that curfew. Owners risk cancellation of license if they are found flouting this law.

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14. A woman can not enter a cemetery in Saudi Arabia

A woman can not pay her respects at the grave of her relatives because of this law.


15. Afghanistani women are prohibited from…

applying nail varnish, laughing loudly, wearing heels, gathering together on festive occasions, and many other things. The Taliban punishes each offense in a gruesome manner.


16. Women are forbidden from watching football in Iran

Women are banned from watching certain “male sports” in Iran like football. Because? Because the sight of men in shorts, showing off skin in a charged up game could instill desire and lust in the women’s minds. Many women protested against this during FIFA-2014 by watching football.


17. Women are prohibited from wearing corsets in Missouri

Because “the privilege of admiring the curvaceous, unencumbered body of a young woman should not be denied to the normal, red-blooded American male.”

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18. Women are banned from walking around without wearing a corset after sundown in Virginia-Norfolk

Women are expected to be dressed in a corset and can walk around after sunset only in the company of a male chaperon.


There are many more bans on women around the world which might seem weird to us. They are not in the interest of men or women and are a legacy of time long past or extremist policing. Talk about the ones you find weird in the comments section because dialogue is the first step towards liberation.