Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: Women can work in four new jobs at night

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Saudi women sell handmade costume jewelry at a Ramadan bazaar in one of Jeddah's shopping malls late on Septmber 8, 2009. The event is one of many activities held during the current holy month of Ramadan during which Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk and stay up late at night socialising before their pre-dawn "Suhur" meal.  AFP PHOTO/OMAR SALEM (Photo credit should read Omar Salem/AFP/Getty Images)

RIYADH: Women would now be allowed to work in kitchens, family entertainment parks, accountancy jobs and shops selling women’s items, according to the Labor Ministry.

Abdulmuneem Al-Shehri, the ministry’s undersecretary for special programs, said the aim was to make the working environment suitable for them; and that women are allowed to own businesses where they are not allowed to work as employees.

Al-Shehri said women are not allowed to work in 21 business activities, which includes underground in mines, sewage projects, excavation and restoration works, construction, ovens for melting metal and other industrial jobs. This was for their safety, he said.

He said some of the banned activities include car workshops, steel and aluminum plants, fertilizer warehouses, the coal industry, loading and offloading goods, painting, processing of tin and metal, and electrical work.

On a related issue, the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has started implementing training programs for women to work in factories, in a bid to increase Saudization at the country’s firms.

The TVTC stated that it had found work for 422 women over the last seven years in 27 business areas, including travel and tourism, hospitality, retail, sales, accounting and administration.

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