Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Saudi women win right to sell lingerie, work in shopping malls

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 4 Jan 2012 17:23 GMT
wom-rig
Saudi women work in a lingerie shop at a mall in Jeddah January 9, 2012. REUTERS/Susan Baaghil
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

NEW YORK (TrustLaw)—Despite opposition from religious leaders, a new law in Saudi Arabia will ban men from working in intimate apparel shops and open those jobs to women for the first time.

The change may ease the 28 percent unemployment rate among Saudi women, who previously were not permitted to work as sales clerks in shopping malls, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

In the past, only men were allowed to sell lingerie, a practice supported by religious leaders, some of whom, including the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, gave sermons railing against the change.  

Others considered the prior rule “un-Islamic,” including Ibrahim Al Mugaiteeb of Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights First Society.

 “This is the hypocrisy of some religious people who interpret the rulings of Islam, otherwise you would think they would be fighting for that,” he told ABC.  “No man should deal with a woman about her underwear.”

The change marks another step forward for women’s rights in the kingdom, which granted women the right to vote last year. However, women still may not drive and remain subject to laws requiring that they have male guardians.

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus
Most Popular
TOPICAL CONTENT
Topical content
LATEST SLIDESHOW

Latest slideshow

See allSee all
FEATURED JOBS
Featured jobs