Tuesday, March 28, 2006

No Turning Back on Saleswomen Directive, Says Saudi Labor Minister :: Arab News
Saudi salesmen watch their backside

From the Kingdom we receive this uplifting news:
“Providing jobs for women has been a priority for decision makers in the Kingdom for more than 25 years,” he told reporters during his visit to the technical college along with Britain’s Prince Charles.

The labor minister denied that there were as many as two million Saudi men working as salesmen in female-clothing shops. “This figure is baseless. If there were two million Saudis working as salesmen in (shops selling products for women) we would not require five million foreigners who come from abroad to work as salesmen,” he said.

Al-Gosaibi also reassured Saudi salesmen already working female-clothing stores that they would not lose their jobs due to the implementation of the directive. He said that even if it were proven that the directive adversely affected a Saudi salesman, another job would be found for him.

Al-Gosaibi did not address this issue in relation to how it might affect expatriate sales clerks. He did emphasize the need to open the job market to Saudi women.

“There are large numbers of women who are in desperate need of jobs within the appropriate environment, which we seek to provide following Shariah regulations,” he said.
Millions? Time for a journalistic reality check. Mariam Al Hakeem reporting in Gulf News puts the figures in the thousands.

An ill-informed Westerner would assume that modesty would have long ago made lingerie sales a female-dominated profession as much in the Kingdom as it would be in the West. It strikes a Westerner as paradoxical in the extreme that the logic of protection of females could have ever have meant that a Saudi woman could only buy underwear from a man.

I have to assume the percentage of Saudi women wearing ill-fitting brassieres exceeds the conspiratorial 70% rate seen in the West.

The distribution of talents across the men and women is not all that different except (warning: Larry Summersesque statement ahead) in the tails. The Kingdom is now letting women into certain professions. But squeezing them into only certain professions clearly means many will end up in ill-fitting jobs that waste their talents. Is that a cost worth paying; or does Sharia (as interpreted in the Kingdom) make that an irrelevant and impertinent question?

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3 Comments:

Blogger secretdubai said...

They tried using Filipinas to sell underwear to women some years back.

The reason they stopped and went back to using males is that they were all, continually, repeatedly getting raped.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Quasiantropòloga said...

I bet most of lingerie is bought by men.

¿Did you know Saudi Arabia is the world's nº1 importer of women'n underware?

7:59 PM  
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12:14 AM  

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