Saudi college teaches women how to sell underwear

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A group of 26 women on Tuesday graduated from Jeddah’s liberal Dar Al Hekma Women’s College, after attending a ten day course on how to sell women’s underwear, Saudi daily Al Watan reported.

Activist Reem Assad, a lecturer in banking and finance at the college, held the course as part of her campaign to staff lingerie stores with female tellers.

The campaign, which began on social networking site Facebook, has been covered by several Saudi newspapers.

Nearly all women’s underwear stores in the Kingdom are staffed with men, causing much embarrassment for customers seeking advice on which size and colour to choose. The shops are banned from having fitting rooms.

A 2006 law states that women are allowed to work in any shop selling women’s items, including underwear and other types of clothing, but has not been implemented.

Women entering the workforce is still frowned upon by conservative Saudis, and high unemployment among Saudi men has added to some retailers’ reluctance to hire female staff.

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