Monday, April 10, 2006
Gulf News reports on Saudi Arabia's push to give jobs in lingerie shops to Saudi women. The government for some time has been interested in combatting female unemployment in the country, which according to the article runs at about 28%. The means taken is apparently one which has been often used to nativize Gulf workforces, reserving certain jobs only for nationals. Here there is a gender component, as well, although it's not clear whether there is a mandate to feminize the lingerie industry or if that is just a goal. Although the problems of women in Saudi Arabia remain - in the case of this initiative, the fact they need a guardian's permission to work, for example - increasing their employment will lead to greater economic power and a chance to increase their political and social power in the future.