Saudi Arabia’s new king, Salman (right), walks alongside President Barack Obama (center) and first lady Michelle Obama after the Obamas arrived in Saudi Arabia on Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh Jan. 27, 2015. 
Saul Loeb/Getty Images

First lady Michelle Obama chose to forgo wearing a headscarf at an event Tuesday to commemorate the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah during her and the president’s trip to that country, the Associated Press reports.

Her decision is not that controversial, since foreign women can opt out of the Islamic tradition. But according to AP, her attire‚ÄĒloosely fitted pants, a blouse and a long-sleeved jacket‚ÄĒinadvertently shed light on the ‚Äústark limitations‚ÄĚ placed upon Saudi women.

During the appearance, some Saudi officials‚ÄĒall men‚ÄĒshook hands with Michelle Obama, while others chose to nod at her instead. The latter represented the reverence‚ÄĒor lack thereof, depending on one‚Äôs view‚ÄĒgiven to women by those who adhere to Shariah, or Islamic law.

AP described life for Saudi women under those guidelines: Women are not allowed to drive, and ‚Äúguardianship laws‚ÄĚ require that they get permission from a male relative in order ‚Äúto travel, get married, enroll in higher education or undergo certain surgical procedures.‚ÄĚ

Read more at the Associated Press.