JEDDAH – The Ministry of Labor is scheduled to conduct Kingdom wide inspections at lingerie and female accessories shops next week to verify the execution of the directive making it mandatory for such specialty stores to be staffed by Saudi women.
An objective of the inspections is to ensure that the target of 100 percent female Saudi staffing is achieved by the end of this year, Al-Madina quoted an official source at the Ministry of Labor as saying.
The spokesman said the inspections are also meant to enable the ministry’s female and male inspectors to record violations in the implementation of this order, and added that inspectors from the ministry’s 37 branches are taking part in the campaign expected to last for several weeks.
He said one of major obstacles to full feminization is the absence of on the job training, lack of transportation and unattractive salaries. He asserted that the ministry would not allow any expat male or female to work in stores.
The ministry has adopted a strategy aimed at establishing strong partnerships between the government and private sectors pointing and defining the mechanism and conditions of female employment in the private sector. These include short and long term employment policies, one of which deals with the gradual replacement of the expatriates in jobs of technical nature which requires training and special qualifications.
Ruqia Abdullah, Head of the Women’s Section at the ministry’s development agency said that according to statistics released by the Ministry of Civil Service for the year 2007 -2008 the total number of women working in the government sector is 311,000. Of them are 275,000 Saudi women representing 88 percent of the total working women in the sector.
She said statistics indicate that the percentage of the unemployment in the Kingdom is 10.5 percent pointing that the rate of employment among Saudi men is 6.9 percent and 28.4 percent for women. The ministry has adopted an integrated strategy to create job opportunities for Saudi women to reduce this figure, she added. — SG