Saudi Arabia's efforts towards a more inclusive society which gives women rights they have not had suffered a setback when the country shut down women-only gyms because of a video showing a woman in tight-fitting attire.
The video showed a woman in a black tank top and a tight-fitting lower - a common workout attire in most parts of the world - working out in a women-only gym with her hair open. Even as she punched and kicked her way towards fitness, many in the country considered what she was wearing offensive - prompting authorities to roll back the green signal it had only recently given to such gyms. "We are not going to tolerate this," Turki al-Sheikh, the Saudi sports authority chief, said in a tweet.
The sports authority of the country believes that such videos 'corrupt public morals' and Sheikh has ordered a probe to find out who created it.
The video is believed to have been filmed in a gym in the capital of Riyadh and was uploaded on the web by a Kuwaiti TV presenter Halima Boland.
Reaction to the video was rather strong in Saudi Arabia with many online users expressing their disapproval. "She is fake and with tons of make up. God save us," wrote one such netizen. Boland, meanwhile, has threatened to file a lawsuit against those who defame her, according to UK's The Mirror.
The controversy is being widely seen as a dent in Saudi Arabia's push towards liberalisation. Recently, the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom had made a number of concessions for women - allowing them to drive, and watch men's sporting events in stadiums. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - believed to be at the helm of bringing about sweeping changes in society - had said last month that he believes women are equal to men.