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Saudi Arabia cracks down on "erring lingerie shops"

Men were discovered working at stores after a ban came into effect.
saudi lingerie crackdown march 23Enlarge
Fully-veiled Saudi women shop at a lingerie store in the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah on January 2, 2012. (Amer Hilabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has closed 600 "erring lingerie shops" for flouting a new government ban on men working as sales representatives, the Saudi Gazette reported.

The government gave 30 others warnings to comply with a new law that bans men. 

An official told the newspaper, "Ten percentage of women’s shops located in traditional and old markets have not hired women because women have not shown any interest in working in these shops."

The official also said that sales of lingerie are up by 30 percent after the new rule was enacted. The change is based on "socio-economic and cultural reasons," and "must be respected because it was issued by the highest authority in the country," the official continued.

The government is taking an active role in helping stores cope with a dangerous small lingerie labor pool. The Saudi Ministry of Labor can provide a list of women to a lingerie store looking to comply. Men are also banned from entering lingerie stores, and security guards are to be posted at the front of shops to stop sneaking eyes and men from entering.

A member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce said women should only work one shift, because "some women find it difficult to work two shifts."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/saudi-arabia-cracks-down-erring-lingerie-shops