Women are Allowed to Sell Lingerie in Saudi Arabia
On January 3 Saudi Arabia’s government announced that a law will be enforced that allows only females sell women lingerie, clothing and cosmetics even though the country’s top cleric disapproved it.
Law issued back in 2006, which bans men from working in female clothes and cosmetics stores, was never put into effect. This is due to the religious hard-liners that opposed the idea of men and women working together in the same places like malls.
Saudi women that got tired of buying underwear from male salespersons have recently boycotted lingerie stores for the right of being employed. Only after that, Saudi Arabia government came up with the law that pushes lingerie and cosmetics stores hire only female workers, which will be in effect this Thursday.
So, the effect didn’t make to wait long as 28,000 Saudi women have already come to take jobs as sales clerks in clothes and cosmetics shops. According to the official at the Ministry of Labor, male salespersons that work in 7,353 outlets across Saudi Arabia will be replaced by women. In order to control the law execution, hundreds of inspectors were hired. In October the warning was issued that stores owners will be placed on a visa blacklist in case they fail execution of the new order.
Fahd Al-Tukhaifi, assistant undersecretary for development at the Ministry of Labor, said:
In the past, it was very difficult for Saudi women to get job opportunities at these shops dominated by foreigners.”
By the way, it is still forbidden men and women working at the same place. So, the employers should ensure that female recruits would not contact with male employees:
If any employer wants to hire Saudi saleswomen at an abaya shop, then there should not be any salesmen working together with them at the shop.”
Saudi Arabia practices the strict version of Sunni Islam- Wahhabi. In public men and women are strictly segregated, that’s why the law about hiring exceptionally female personnel to sell women clothing and accessories arouse so many protests among religious groups.