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.

 

Yemen warring parties 'closer' to agreement

Major assaults target IS jihadists in Iraq, Syria

Juncker warns Ankara against migrant deal threats

New Afghan Taliban leader named

Annual Jewish pilgrimage starts in Tunisia

Kuwait's main opposition group ends polls boycott

Twin offensives on IS edge forward in Syria, Iraq

Private firms to help in hunt for Egyptair black boxes

New Israeli defence minister's tough talk to be put to the test

Syria most dangerous place for health workers

Concern for civilians trapped in Iraq's Fallujah

Brent rises past $50 a barrel

Iraq PM urges protesters to stay home

Israeli air force carries out strikes on Hamas sites in Gaza

Sudan accuses UN official of 'false' reports on displaced

Egypt quashes prison sentences for 47 protesters

At least 5 drown off Libya coast

Coalition airstrike kills six Yemen civilians 'by mistake'

Erdogan chairs first meeting of new Turkey cabinet

Pope prays to 'convert hearts' of ISIS extremists

Egypt expels French journalist amid crackdown on media

Israeli rights group gives up on army complaints system

Hamas-led council backs executions without Abbas approval

Netanyahu forms ultra-nationalist Israel government

Syrian base used by Russia damaged in IS attack

Kurdish, Arab forces announce anti-IS offensive north of Syria's Raqa

Palestinian PM dismisses Netanyahu proposal

Israel PM's travel expenses under scrutiny

EgyptAir victims' relatives give samples for DNA tests

Iran sends new delegation to Saudi for hajj talks

Hardline cleric elected head of Iran's Assembly of Experts

Civilians trapped as Fallujah siege tightens

Iraq's Fallujah offensive draws attention from embattled PM

Turkey incoming PM unveils cabinet

US, Russia scramble to save Syria truce

Libyan coastguards intercept 550 bound for Europe

Campus bomb kills two in Yemen's Sanaa

Saudi soldier killed in landmine blast on Yemen border

Over 148 killed in IS bombings in Syria regime heartland

Iraq forces battle IS jihadists to retake Fallujah

Erdogan advisor says Turkey could suspend EU deals

Iraq launches military operation to retake Fallujah

Oil prices dip as Iran says no to output freeze

Skepticism ahead of Istanbul humanitarian summit

Sudan steps up pressure for exit of Darfur peacekeepers