Saudi Arabia: Only Women Can Sell Lingerie

Country applies 2006 law
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 2, 2012 8:52 AM CST
Saudi Arabia: Only Women Can Sell Lingerie
In this Wednesday, March 25, 2009 file photo, a Saudi Arabian woman holding a child browses for lingerie at a store in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Saudi Arabia says starting Thursday, only females can work in women's lingerie stores. The 2006 law banning men from working in female apparel and cosmetic stores has never been put into effect, partly due to hard-liners in the religious establishment who oppose the whole idea of women working where men and women congregate together, like malls. Saudi's Arabia's most senior cleric, Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, spoke out against the decision in a recent sermon, saying it contradicts Islamic law.

He argued that wrongdoing may occur when a woman stands face to face with a man and sells without embarrassment. The Labor Ministry says that more than 28,000 women have already applied for the sales jobs. (More Saudi Arabia stories.)

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