Thursday, 23 October 2014  -  29 Thul-Hijjah 1435 H

What if a female employee is taller than the wall?


Last updated: Saturday, February 02, 2013 12:32 PM


Hamoud Abu Talib
Okaz newspaper


Why is the segregation wall that hides women working in lingerie shops required to be 160 cm (roughly 5.2 feet) high? This was the first question that came to mind after I read about this bizarre separation wall rule.

On what basis was this figure determined? I would like to see the scientific study according to which we have come to know the average height of peeping toms!

The chairman of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Hai’a) and the minister of labor agreed to place segregation barriers in the Kingdom’s lingerie shops during a recent meeting. On one hand, I am happy that the Hai’a and the ministry have agreed that women can work even if it means they have to be surrounded by these 160-cm separation walls. On the other hand, however, I cannot help but express astonishment at the agreement for which there is no justification whatsoever.

Women’s employment is a decision that the Council of Ministers approved and it must be implemented. This means that no further agreements or approvals are needed. It is true that we have finally allowed our women to work. It is equally true that our consent has been wrapped in several impossible conditions that have nothing to do with women in the workplace.

What if a female employee is taller than the wall? Do we bring in specialist doctors to shorten her? I really want to know: Why 160 cm?

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