Boom in Libyen: Frauencafes
Fashionable cafes springing up in Libya's capital are shutting out single men and catering for women looking for a break from the tensions: political and personal: crowding in around them.
The cafes with European names and bright decor seem a world away from the city's traffic-clogged and still violent streets. In a socially conservative society, they also offer privacy and protection from unwanted advances.
"If I go with my friends, we chat about our problems and change our mood," said 27-year-old Haneen, eating a late breakfast in the busy La Rambla cafe. "A family place is more comfortable ... there's no harassment or flirting."
For owners and managers of the businesses marketing themselves as "families-only" cafes, it's also a welcome change from the traditional clientele - hundreds of other rowdier eateries across Tripoli are packed out with young men, tables spilling out onto the streets and giant screens broadcasting soccer matches. (...)
Some see the cafes as heralding a return to relative normality – their owners say they have had little trouble from armed groups known for extortion and theft. Upmarket shops, some with international brands, have opened in smarter neighborhoods.
Opinion is split on what the cafes say about Libyan society.
For some they are a sign of increasing openness – Libyan women have little chance to socialize outside the home.
For others they are a reminder of the limits on women in a country where outdoor public spaces are dominated by men.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/women-find-some-respite-in-libya-s--families-only--cafes-9358918