In trying to deal with female unemployment in Saudi Arabia — a statistic the government chooses not to discuss publicly — the government is seeking to carve out new opportunities for women. Next on the agenda is shops that sell accessories and abayas. More male expats workers will find their jobs pulled from beneath their feet.

Of course, this being Saudi Arabia, special rules (which incidentally drive up the cost of employing women) will be in effect. The jobs will be part-time only.

Women to work in abaya shops

The Ministry of Labor will start allowing women to work in accessories and abaya stores within six months.

Fahd Al-Nikhaifi, assistant undersecretary in the Ministry of Labor and director of women’s employment in private sector, said the plan excluded perfume and eyeglasses stores.

Al-Nikhaifi said the ministry’s strategy is to follow up on the implementation of the resolution by appointing supervisors from Taqat employment center, which helps job seekers.

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