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.

 

Britain remembers London bombings under shadow of Tunisia

Iran nuclear talks to continue beyond deadline

Saudi Arabia arrests 3 brothers over Kuwait mosque bombing

‘Islamic State’, between hammer of US and anvil of Syria Kurds

UN struggling to raise funds for war-torn Yemen

Syria parliament approves deal on Iran line credit

Hamas accuses Palestinian Authority of ‘torture, mass arrests’

Posters threatening gays with death appear in Ankara

Turkey detains 800 crossing from Syria illegally

French Special Forces kill senior Qaeda terrorist in Mali

HRW: Tunisia must respect freedoms in state of emergency

Deadly suicide attack targets Syria army base in Aleppo

Iran nuclear talks: World powers get back to work on new deadline day

Turkish Airlines flight makes emergency landing over bomb threat

Over 150,000 South Sudanese taking shelter in UN bases

Unrecognised government in Libya announces army reforms

Spain arrests suspected female IS group recruiter

Shebab militants target northern Kenya in deadly gun attack

Scores of lawyers willing to defend Morocco women tried over ‘provocative’ dresses

US 'intensifying' campaign against IS base in Syria

Iran nuclear talks set to miss yet another deadline

Carrot and stick as ‘Islamic State’ seeks to win over Sunni tribes

In Saudi Arabia, number of security prisoners climbs again

'Islamic State' targets Iraq town in wave of bomb attacks

A year after Gaza war, Shijaiyah still trying to recover

Egypt arrests Brotherhood members over plot to disrupt shipping at Suez Canal

Egypt reveals number of Sinai militants killed in last five days

‘Islamic State’ seizes Syria town of Ain Issa from Kurdish forces

Crunch talks to seal Iran nuclear deal begin in Vienna

Warplanes target headquarters of Saleh party in Yemen capital

7 Iraqis killed in accidental warplane bomb

Egypt to reconsider parts of anti-terrorism draft law

Morocco journalist on hunger strike in Geneva told to return home

Iran-backed bomb attack foiled in Jordan

Iran nuclear talks enter in final straight

Near Gaza Strip, Israelis live in fear behind concrete walls

Tunisia declares state of emergency after beach massacre

After Tunisia beach massacre, tourists switch to other destinations

Deadly US raids target ISIS stronghold in Syria

Concern and grief as Britain remembers 2005 terror bombings

Iran nuclear talks: Will Ministers score diplomatic success?

Erdogan moots possibility of snap election

Coalitions of Syria rebels battle regime forces in Aleppo

Lawlessness in Libya poses real danger for Tunisia

Hezbollah backs Syria army in major assault on border city