Duty hours relief for women in Saudi Arabia

Photo: Duty hours relief for women in Saudi Arabia / Arabic region

The Labor Ministry of Saudi Arabia has fixed the working hours for women between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., Arab News reported.

The move ensures that women don't begin work too early and don't work after streets become empty.

The ministry has urged businesses to employ Saudi women only in female shops, adding that companies who appoint foreign women in such shops would be fined.

"The ministry intends to expand women employment gradually," said a senior ministry official, who emphasized the need to appoint Saudi women at shops selling women's dresses and accessories.

The ministry has targeted the shops for employment of Saudi women as those selling female perfumes, gowns, shoes, footwear, bags, ready-made dresses, women's cloth, and mother care products.

"These shops may be either in shopping malls or open markets or independent shops located along roads," the official said, adding that only Saudi women must be employed in these shops.

"These shops need not get any special permission from the ministry or any other department," he added.

Saudi men and women have welcomed the new labor regulations to expand women employment, adding that the new measures would help women work without facing obstacles.

"This will enable many Saudi women to work and support their families," one Saudi blogger said.

Another blogger, who identified himself as Saud Al-Masoud, urged the ministry to prevent male expat owners of abaya shops from entering their shops. "We have seen some expat men standing in front of these shops," he said.

Abu Hassan, another Saudi, insisted that the women-only shops should be designed in accordance with the ministry's instructions to ensure privacy. He also urged businesses to provide reasonable salaries to women.

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