90 bridal shops shut for not employing women

The raids were conducted in cooperation with security authorities in a popular mall which had a cluster of bridal shops.

The raids were conducted in cooperation with security authorities in a popular mall which had a cluster of bridal shops.

The Labor Ministry shut down 90 bridal shops in the city center for not employing women in these outlets.

The ministry conducted raids in cooperation with security authorities, the municipality and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in a popular mall where there is a cluster of bridal shops.

According to the ministry, these shops have violated the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 120 which urges such establishments to offer job opportunities and areas of work for Saudi women.

The Kingdom has accelerated its efforts to employ more Saudi women in the private sector, mainly in shops and outlets mainly patronized by women.

Abdullah Al-Olayan of the Labor Ministry said the inspection is part of the ministry’s efforts to ensure that women are working in places where they are due to work. He explained that bridal shops are mostly patronized by women who come to purchase their bridal dresses, accessories and other wedding items.

The ministry wants business owners to ensure that stores selling maternity wear, bridal dresses and abayas have women employees, including facilities for rest and privacy.

Over the next two years, all stores selling women’s perfume, shoes, bags, socks, clothes and textiles must have women workers, as stipulated by the Labor Ministry.

Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI) statistics showed that the rate of unemployment among men stands at 6.2 percent. According to the Civil Affairs Ministry, there are 1.2 million Saudis working in the public sector with women accounting for 38.3 percent.

According to a study, most Saudi women prefer to work in the education sector as teachers or administrators mainly due to social factors and because the education sector provides the most appropriate work environment for Saudi women. The education sector currently encompasses the highest percentage of Saudi women in the workforce, estimated at 87.4 percent.

At a recent conference discussing unemployment, a Saudi researcher said that Saudi women must be encouraged to enter different domains and industries.

“Many Saudi women are heading businesses in the private sector. However, the business sector has not succeeded yet in ensuring women take up jobs in the retail sector. We can only say we have succeeded if Saudi women replace expatriate workers.”

He also indicated that the feminization of shops selling women’s products would be complete by 2016.

“It is important to alert the private sector of the significance of addressing the unemployment situation by creating employment opportunities,” said a Saudi economist. “There is a need to develop a system to replace expatriates with Saudis, and to put an end to minimum wage in line with a certificate of employee expertise and the nature of work.”


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