First Published: 2013-01-28

 

Saudi women work with men... separated by high walls

 

Authorities order shops employing both men, women to build separation walls to enforce strict segregation laws.

 

Middle East Online

Strict segregation laws to remain

RIYADH - Saudi authorities have ordered shops employing both men and women to build separation walls to enforce the strict segregation laws of the ultra-conservative kingdom, local press reported Monday.

The order that was issued by labour minister Adel Faqih also had the stamp of Abdullatif al-Sheikh, the head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, commonly known as Mutawa and religious police, several dailies reported.

It stipulated that a separation barrier, not shorter than 1.6 metres (over five feet), should be erected to divide working men and women.

Authorities in June 2011 told lingerie shops to replace their salesmen, mostly Asian, with Saudi saleswomen. This directive was later extended to cosmetic outlets.

Saudi women have long complained they feel uncomfortable having to buy lingerie from men and would prefer female sales assistants.

In December, the head of the religious police strongly criticised the labour ministry, claiming that saleswomen do not have a proper working environment and that some have been harassed.

The labour ministry had said the decision to employ women at lingerie shops should create some 44,000 jobs for Saudi women, among whom unemployment is more than 30 percent, according to official figures.

 

UN-backed Syria talks restart after 10-month hiatus

Iraqi forces consolidate positions in south Mosul

Famine grips parts of South Sudan

Merkel Algiers trip postponed

UAE dealing with drone threats to aircraft

For Kurds, Trump’s ban is a slap in the face

Israel sentences soldier to 18 months for killing Palestinian

74 bodies wash up on Libya beach

Turkey, Iran tensions over Syria grow

US senator McCain holds talks with Saudi king

No IS defeat unless corruption tackled

France's Le Pen refuses to wear headscarf in Lebanon

Rohani’s GCC visit barely makes waves

UN says Libya trial of Kadhafi aids flawed

Iran's Khamenei backs 'complete liberation' of Palestine

Bouteflika has had persistent health woes in past decade

Israeli soldiers to be sentenced for killing Palestinian

Iraq forces prepare to take on IS in Mosul's west bank

11 family members dead in Syria rebel push on Al-Bab

East Libya issues women travel ban

Syria army escalates shelling near Damascus ahead of talks

Coalition expects to remain in Iraq after Mosul operation ends

Egypt court hands out death sentences over football riot

Israelis optimistic on Trump despite mixed messages

Prime minister's convoy comes under fire in Libya

Four Russian military personnel killed in Syria

Women named to head Saudi financial institutions

Prince of Poets returns to Al Raha Beach theatre

Debate on Muslim Brotherhood ban reflects battle lines in US

IS claims suicide attack by British bomber

Le Pen in Lebanon for first head of state meeting

Israeli PM sets off on Asia tour

HRW says IS jihadists raping, torturing Sunni Arab women too

Iraq forces battle their way to Mosul airport

Iran says Saudi, Israel working to damage country

Mattis: We are not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil

Trial of 'Erdogan assassination plot' suspects opens in Turkey

Hundreds of migrants storm Morocco-Spain border

Iraq digs anti-IS trench around Ramadi

Israel's Lieberman fears Palestinians will dilute 'Jewish state'

At least 14 dead in Mogadishu car bombing

Arab leaders, Netanyahu held secret peace meeting

Obesity a major health problem in Jordan

350,000 children trapped in west Mosul

UN envoy to Syria : 'Where is the US?'