Saudi plans regular raids on lingerie, abaya shops

Labour Ministry warns it will carry out inspections to ensure men, women not working together

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

The Saudi Arabian Labour Ministry has warned abaya and lingerie shops they will be regularly and spontaneously raided to ensure men and women are not working together.

Non-compliant businesses may be shut down, deputy minister for inspections and developing work atmosphere, Abdullah Abuthnain, said.

The ministry has appointed 45 female inspectors to carry out the raids.

Shop owners are not allowed to employ men and women together,” Abuthnain said.

“We have set new conditions in order to create a secure work atmosphere for Saudi women.”

Under King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia is relaxing rules around female employment.

Last year the kingdom’s overturned historic legislation banning women from working without the permission of their father or husband.

An increasing number of women have taken up positions in certain retail outlets, particularly shops catering to women such as abaya and lingerie stores.

However there are still strict rules around men and women working alongside each other.

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