While it’s great that Saudi Arabian women are continuing to find jobs, it’s a bit worrisome that they’re doing so through the block reservation of certain types of jobs on the low end of the pay spectrum. The government has enforced a new rule that women, and only women, will sell female lingerie. That makes a great deal of sense in a country where sexual segregation has a tendency to lead toward hyper-sexuality on the part of men. Women just didn’t feel comfortable buying intimate apparel from men who were constantly – and literally – sizing them up.
Now, Saudi Gazette reports, on the heels of the success of the lingerie program, the government will set aside the selling of cosmetics for women alone. There is again some sense to this. Particularly when it comes to sampling and demonstrating, having women be the sole contact is reasonable. But again, it’s jobs at the low end of the economy. Better than nothing, of course, but hardly the basis of life-long careers.
JEDDAH – The successful deployment of women-only lingerie shops has ushered in a new era that not only provides more privacy but opens up thousands of job opportunities for Saudi women. Business owners have also reported a welcome increase in sales.
The Ministry of Labor has now moved on to the next phase of the law whereby all cosmetics and perfume shops will have to employ female staff only. According to Fahd Al-Tekhaifi, Assistant Undersecretary for Development at the Ministry of Labor, the law will come into force on June 30.
The Saudi Ministry of Labor, the paper also reports, is doing a little work of its own to remove the glass ceiling within the Ministry. Now, the high-level jobs will become available to women. It required a restructuring of the Ministry, but senior jobs in 33 branch offices will become available.