Saudi Arabia shuts down lingerie shops with male staff



London: Saudi Arabia has ordered closure of around 100 lingerie shops in Riyadh for violating new regulations that ban men from working as sales staff, the Daily Mail reported.

All shops flouting a decree on the "feminisation and nationalisation of jobs" would be shut down, a Labour Ministry official was quoted by the newspaper Al-Eqtisadiah as saying.

The measure aims to "provide a safe environment for working women", the official said.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia's Labour Ministry had 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 bin Abdulaziz al Saud, issued the decree to end the "embarrassment" suffered by women who don't want to give men their measurements. The move was also part of an effort to reduce high women unemployment, presently at around 30 percent, in the kingdom.

Saudi women boycotted lingerie stores to pressurise them to employ women, the report said.

IANS