Saudi Arabia is continuously working for empowering women. It is to be understood that being a woman, dignity comes first and any other monetary benefit is secondary. A recent example of women empowerment is that the women can work as waitresses and sales girls as well. Abdul Lateef Al Shaikh, the head of “Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Sin” authority has said in his recent interview that there is no ban in Saudi Arabia on women to work as waitresses in restaurants. They are just meant to work in the female sections, to ensure that women are working in areas where there are right conditions for them.[irp]
This statement from Al Shaikh came in a situation when some reports were published that women will be restricted to the kitchens only and they will not be allowed to serve as waitresses. State authorities are continuously trying to change the social norms those put ban on women to do jobs in any of the public places. Authorities want the women to work in all girls’ schools and hospitals as well, it will not only give the job to thousands of female graduates of the Kingdom rather it will also decrease the ratio of dependency on the millions of expatriates. Despite the problems with conservatives, state authorities are struggling continuously.
The conservatives strongly resisted against the directives of the state authorities that the lingerie shops shall employ Saudi women only. They were of the view that women shall not interact with strangers. However, the government of Kingdom enforced this decision while making it sure that there is a suitable atmosphere for the women to work.
Al Shaikh said that the shops that are selling women’s only items have the capacity to employee thousands of women but both the goals of creating job opportunities and ensuring the safety of women’s dignity shall be achieved at the same time. The only restriction by the authorities on the lingerie shops, cosmetics stores, and women’s clothes shops is that the sales persons of the shops and buyers both shall be women only.
Saudi women have welcomed this decision. They say that it will not create jobs only rather it will create great ease for the women too but these things with comfort. A member of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jeddah, Ayesha Natto talked to media and said that this is a symptom that a great change is coming in the country about women empowerment. She said that at times she was not allowed to enter the building of JCCI just because of being a woman but now she is the owner of five companies and holds an authoritative post in JCCI as well.
The credit mainly goes to King Abdullah, since he came into power he took vital steps for women empowerment. A very significant move was the appointment of 30 women in the house of 150 members of the Shoura Council. Another media person, Muhammad Al Shaqa was also amused by the sight when a female waitress took his meal order and served him with the food. He said that it made him feel that if he was not having a meal in Riyadh rather in Dubai.[irp]
These moves of creating jobs for women of Saudi Arabia are highly appreciable, not only because they will help the women financially but they are appreciable because the safety of women’s dignity is also among the priorities of state authorities.
Source: Gulf News