Saudi women walk through a shopping mall in Riyadh
Saudi women walk through a shopping mall in Riyadh. The labour ministry has ordered the closure of around 100 lingerie shops in the Saudi capital for having men on their sales staff, according to the Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper. © Hassan Ammar - AFP/File
Saudi women walk through a shopping mall in Riyadh
AFP
Last updated: September 16, 2012

Saudi shuts male-staffed lingerie shops

The labour ministry has ordered the closure of around 100 lingerie shops in the Saudi capital for having men on their sales staff, a newspaper said on Sunday.

Al-Eqtisadiah quoted a ministry official as saying all shops which violate a decree on the "feminisation and nationalisation of jobs" would be shut down. The measure aims to "provide a safe environment for working women," he said.

The ministry at the start of the year banned male assistants from working at lingerie shops, as a first step to be followed by women-only sales assistants at cosmetics outlets.

King Abdullah issued a decree in June 2011 limiting work for females at lingerie shops to Saudi women only in a bid to reduce high female unemployment in the conservative kingdom.

Unemployment among women in the oil-rich state is estimated at 30 percent.

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