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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 14 Nov 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Turkey Lifts Ban on Trousers for Women MPs in Parliament

New Age Islam News Bureau

14 Nov 2013

Many women in Iran have previously been subjected to being arrests for what enforcement units deemed as immodest dressing. (File photo: Reuters)


 Teacher in Upper Egypt 'Beat Girls for Praising El-Sisi'

 Iran Said To Stop ‘Fashion Police’ Arrests

 Gaza's Unmarried Couples Defy Social Traditions

 Harassment at workplaces: Online complaint system launched in Pakistan

 No Respite for Tunisia's Working Women

 Mangalore Woman's Connection to Patna Blast Rubbished By Police

 Worship While You Work Out: First Muslim Exercise DVD Hits U.S. Market

 Sister and Her Lesbian Lover Attacked Because Relationship Is Against Islam

 Prostitution Ring Discovered In Oman

 Online Recruitment of Housemaids In UAE

 Over 500 lingerie shops shut down for noncompliance

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Turkey Lifts Ban on Trousers for Women MPs in Parliament



ANKARA: Turkey's parliament has lifted a ban on women lawmakers wearing trousers in the assembly, in a further liberalisation of dress rules following a landmark decision to allow female deputies to wear the Islamic headscarf.

A deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Safak Pavey, drew attention to the trouser ban during a parliamentary debate on the emotive headscarf issue, which has long polarised opinion in largely Muslim but secular Turkey.

Pavey, elected to office in June 2011, has a prosthetic leg but parliament had rejected her previous request to be allowed to wear trousers because of regulations which specified that women should wear suits with skirts.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling centre-right AK Party, which has Islamist roots, proposed the relaxation of the trouser ban and the opposition parties — the secularist CHP, the pro-Kurdish BDP and Turkish nationalist MHP — backed the plan.

Parliament approved the measure late on Wednesday.

The Turkish parliament witnessed historic scenes at the end of October when four AKP female lawmakers wore headscarves for the first time in the assembly.

The headscarf is viewed by secularists as an emblem of political Islam and thus a threat to the republic's secular identity, but the AK Party has argued that the restrictions on its use violate the principle of religious freedom.

Secularists made only subdued protests to the move, highlighting a shift in attitudes in Turkey about religion after more than a decade of AKP rule. The headscarf ban has also been lifted in other state institutions as well as parliament.



Teacher in Upper Egypt 'Beat Girls for Praising El-Sisi'


Prosecutors are investigating a teacher who allegedly hit female pupils after one of them praised army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The mathematics teacher at a preparatory girls' school (ages 12-15) in Minya, Upper Egypt is accused of verbally and physically assaulting 25 pupils during the incident earlier this week, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The teacher allegedly let out a string of expletives and slapped the girls around the face, Al-Ahram added.

School headmaster Mohamed Essameddin disputed the allegations, but referred the teacher for investigation.

Egyptians have been divided between loyalists of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and those who favour the military which ousted him in July amid mass protests against his rule. Tensions have been heighted at universities and schools since the start of the academic year in September. Protests on university campuses have at times boiled over into violence between rival students.



Iran Said To Stop ‘Fashion Police’ Arrests


Iranian President Hassan Rowhani has banned the country’s morality police from arresting women considered to be dressed immodestly, reported UK-based daily The Telegraph on Wednesday.

The curb on power of the Gashte Ershad (Guidance Patrol) was the fulfillment of an election promise to loosen strict standards on Iran’s Islamic dress code.

Rowhani has tasked the Interior Ministry with maintaining standards in dressing – however, Iran’s police head said that the dress code is no longer a matter of law enforcement and will be handled by a “social council.”

Iran’s Guidance Patrol was part of a collaboration of 26 government agencies, including “morality police” units as well as volunteer enforcers who are especially unpopular with many Iranians, according to the newspaper.

Rowhani had originally pledged that Iranian women would be protected from “harassment” and would be able to “enjoy real security.”

The president also slammed the patrol’s vigilantes, saying that their prescence was unconstitutional and “antagonizes our society and has negative results.”



Gaza's Unmarried Couples Defy Social Traditions

14 Nov, 2013

GAZA CITY — Not being able to get basic goods, not having electricity for more than 11 hours a day and not being able to travel easily are the familiar hardships the more than 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza face, but these are not the only frustrations. In addition to the strain on Palestinians' lives due to the ongoing Egyptian-Israeli siege, unmarried couples in Gaza are also struggling to maintain their relationships because they cannot easily meet in public.

The taboo of unmarried couples and the complications of being able to communicate directly with one’s partner are new to Palestinian society (and to Middle Eastern society in general). In the impoverished coastal enclave of only 360 square kilometers, it is difficult for a couple to meet without fear of being seen by someone they know. Palestinian tradition prohibits unmarried couples from meeting, although a few families might allow their daughter to meet with a man if he is serious and willing to officially propose to her.

Problematic behavior involving the opposite sex usually focuses on females rather than males, because in a patriarchal society like the Palestinians', young men are usually free to do as they please, free of the tight parental control that girls face. The behavior of women and girls, including the words they use, are constantly monitored by male relatives, seemingly 24 hours a day.

Gender restrictions are not only limited to relationships, but also include the few people who have friends of the opposite sex. Unless socializing in groups, gender-mixing friendships are frowned upon. This custom is more rooted in cultural traditions than any specific religious decree.

Until now, men and women in Gaza have typically married the “traditional” way. That is, a male can only see the girl at her parent’s house once before the couple decides to marry. Societal habits are changing, however, and in the process challenging the traditional concept of a relationship. Whereas previously, women were largely restricted to household chores and raising children, the empowerment of women through labor and the economy is prompting a shift in gender relations.

With the number of working women increasing in Gaza, there are more opportunities for gender mixing and, as a result, relationships based on mutual interest and love, rather than social requirements, are developing. Tradition remains strong, however, and although such relationships occur, it remains difficult for an unmarried couple to publicly engage in their relationship without the threat of official sanction by the courts. Occasional crackdowns by Hamas police on couples meeting in public places without marriage certificates has prompted self-restrictions by many unmarried couples.

Lama (a pseudonym) acknowledged that she cannot really get to know a man due to the difficulties of meeting, even when the relationship is serious and could lead to marriage. “I can go out with a man, of course, but I’ll be risking my reputation, because people here talk about a girl going out alone with a man. I don’t want to be in that situation,” Lama, a 28-year-old, told Al-Monitor.

With the emergence of social media and smartphones, contact between couples has improved somewhat, but remains inadequate. One 29-year-old man who spoke on condition of anonymity revealed to Al-Monitor that Skype is the main way he communicates with his girlfriend because he is uncomfortable going out with her due to social constraints. Despite the challenges he faces, he thinks such social restrictions are important, because, he contended, the majority of men are not serious about their relationships. “I don’t mind families’ watching over their sons' and daughters' relationships. It’s always better to have things under the spotlight,” he explained.

Samir Quta, a psychology and sociology expert, said that it is preferable for couples to meet a number of times before they decide whether to get married, but that does not necessarily require a deviation from social customs. “I call the parents to give them a better understanding of their childrens’ relationships, which can help them avoid social problems that can be caused by unacceptable relationships outside their observation,” Quta explained to Al-Monitor.

The issue is not only about couples, but gender relationships in general in a conservative society. Boys and girls are usually separated beginning in grade three in governmental schools and most private ones. Not surprisingly, as young adults they find it uncomfortable when they come into contact with one another in college.

Fatma Salim, a 24-year-old teacher, said that she totally respects the traditions to which the genders are restricted in Gaza. Salim believes one cannot ask boys and girls who have been separated for most of their lives to act in a healthy way when they start communicating at a relative advanced age. “Instead of trying to extinguish these traditions, I ask for putting the two genders in a healthy atmosphere from day one in kindergarten so they can communicate properly for the rest of their lives,” Salim suggested.



Harassment at workplaces: Online complaint system launched in Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: A majority of the working women face harassment at workplaces due to which their productivity and participation in the mainstream economy is badly affected.

Approximately 70 per cent of women who have faced sexual harassment did not want to file a complaint, specifically due to the complicated and inconvenient system.

This was stated at the inauguration of an ‘online complaint system’ about harassment at workplaces.

The system has been launched by the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat (FOS) in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s gender equality for decent employment project funded by the Canadian government.

The participants were informed that according to a survey conducted in public-private organisations, a majority of working women suffered sexual harassment at workplaces but they did not lodge complaints.

In order to simplify the process, FOS with the support of the ILO established the grievance redressal system consisting of a website of online complaints both in English and Urdu, and an SMS tracking system.

The chair of the event, Justice (retired) Yasmeen Abbasi, on the occasion said the unique initiative would facilitate in speeding up the process of launching complaint about the harassment at workplace and provide a greater outreach to the FOS in enabling the affected people.

Regional Director ILO Asia-Pacific region Yoshiteru Uramoto said it was an excellent example of gender responsive public service delivery and developing institutional mechanisms.

“I look forward that this system will become stronger and better over the years and contribute to a safe and decent working environment for women and men,” he said.

ILO Country Director Francesco d’Ovidio expressed his concern on the workplace harassment and emphasised the role of the government, employers, trade unions and the civil society to promote a zero tolerance for instances of harassment at workplaces.

Deputy Director Communications FOS Shahrukh Abbasi said in the past women had to face a complicated system to lodge a complaint against work harassment.

“Especially, in the provinces, the complainant had to go to the provincial capital to lodge a complaint which was almost impossible for them. Now the complainant can lodge the complaint directly on the website of FOS in both Urdu and English languages,” he said.



No respite for Tunisia's working women

14 Nov, 2013

JENDOUBA, Tunisia — Hadda is not sure how old she is. Definitely between 40 and 50, but she asks her son for confirmation, and then her husband, who fetches her identity card. She does not know how to read or write. Born in 1967, she has neither left her house in the countryside nor changed her daily schedule. She wakes up at 4 a.m. to cook for her family and to take care of the house and the animals. She is then ready to climb aboard a truck belonging to Nizar, the owner of the land she works on.

Each sunrise Nizar takes 10 women to his fields. They are more or less the same age and are neighbors in the Satfura countryside, close to the city of Jendouba, in northwestern Tunisia. Each year, Hadda has to pay rent of 1,000 dinars (about $600) and financially sustain the household.

Her husband is ill and her children are unemployed, apart from Bassem who occasionally works as a bricklayer. But it is not them who give her the energy to get up every morning and then return from the fields to bake bread. Her daughter Meriem cried for days when she found out she would have to leave school — the fields and the animals were waiting for her as well.

Hadda could not bear her 13-year-old’s tears, and to ensure she is able to continue her studies, Hadda even works in the forest. Hadda is 5 feet 9 inches tall, a stature rare among Tunisian women. But even her tall build seems to be nullified when working the fields. Bent over the weeds, which are uprooted so they do not ruin the potato crop, her body seems to cancel itself out.

Only the arrival of Nizar, who comes to check the work of his two farm hands, causes her to lift her head from the ground. Eight dinars, seven hours, he says. Whilst Hadda and Fayza say seven dinars, seven hours. Less than $5 in each case. The hours that don’t bring any financial gain are those done at home, the hours in which they never once relax on their beds or sofas. In fact, they do not relax at all.

There are also entire days spent in the forests. Not where the best wood is found, though, because the most inner area is, by now, inaccessible. In fact, since last winter groups of armed terrorists have been hiding in the Ain Draham forest, as in many other Tunisian forests. Last spring they provoked various clashes and attacks in Jebel ech Chambi, near Kasserine, including the murder of nine soldiers in late July, just days after the political assassination of Mohamed Brahmi, leader of the opposition. The women, therefore, don’t venture deep into the forest. They disappear throughout the outer edges in order to collect wood, which they then carry in bundles.

The cause is the same for the women of Hay el-Nasr, a working-class area of Jendouba. Either due to the irony of destiny or the choice of the old regime’s dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the poorest neighborhood is called "Victory Zone." The only victory one could claim would be that of the driver Ali, whose truck picks up 60 people in the morning. Each morning he arrives at 6 a.m. and the rush of women hoping to climb aboard begins. They’re hoping for a day’s work in whatever field possible in the region. There is no difference in wages between the farm workers in the hills and those in the working class neighborhood. It is always those same seven dinars to sustain the entire family.

Ali, on the other hand, collects one dinar from every woman who boards the truck. Pressed up against each other, waiting to the reach the fields, Dorsaf’s eyes stand out among the others. She’s only 16 years old and has been doing this job since she was 12. She doesn’t know what she’s missing either. No one cried with her because she’s unable to attend school. She wants only to be beside her grandmother, who took her to the fields and showed her how to grow potatoes, plant strawberries and stand up for herself against those older than her.

It’s Dorsaf’s tomatoes that arrive in the Tunisian capital, and people even come from Libya to buy produce from the Jendouba fields. Landowners and merchants, with heads held high and hands raised, ask Dorsaf her name. Perhaps they realize from her gaze — shy and nervous — that this is not where she should be, even though she has learnt her trade well. She strokes her grandmother’s hands, asking when they’re going to visit her parents.

For months, Tunisia has been experiencing a political and social crisis, linked to two political assassinations in February and July this year: Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, leaders of the opposition, the Popular Front. The draft constitution is complete, but two years following the Constituent Assembly election the definitive text has still not been approved. For two months the government and the opposition have struggled in an exhausting match of so-called national dialogue. In the meantime, the lives of women laborers continue to be one of struggle and dedication to provide for their families.

Saida, for example, doesn’t leave the house. After the fields, only her husband awaits her at home. She asks him if she can go to work, if she can go to the market, if she can visit her neighbor. Yet in January 2011 it was Saida who, along with the others, protested in the streets of Jendouba. They were the ones who cried out for the fall of the region’s dictator, dodging tear gas and running to hide from the police. Afterward they returned to the fields, because the tomato season never ceases.

In October 2011 they went to vote. Hania slowly read each letter, one by one. She stopped practicing that skill after junior school. She looked at the letters. They arrange a name, which as she pronounced she thinks she recognized, and so she marked it with a cross. Saida, on the other hand, was accompanied there. Groups from the Islamist party Ennahda helped these women to vote for candidates. It was Oct. 23, 2011, the day before they took power.

But Hania would not let herself be bought. She has 34 or 37 years — she can never remember — and she refused the 500 dinars offered by Ennahda, even though the roof of her cabin is about to collapse and even though she sleeps under the stars with her husband and children due to the heat. When it rains it becomes unbearable, when those walls cry with rainwater and exhaustion. Her husband navigates between one cafe and another, trying to obtain a "red card" in order to benefit from public health services free of charge. Poverty has driven him insane. He wanders around — coming across his neighbors between his home and the hammam — freezing during the winter and scorching in summer, even if the quality of life is always "below zero."



Mangalore woman's connection to Patna blast rubbished by police

14 Nov, 2013

Bangalore: A day after local media reported that Ayesha Banu, a resident of Panjimogaru on the outskirts of Mangalore was arrested, for her alleged involvement in bankrolling the recent bomb blasts carried out in Patna, police officials of both Karnataka and Bihar have dismissed media reports of her alleged connection to any terror group or terrorism related activity.

On Tuesday, 12th November, local newspapers, television channels and many websites, had reported that Ayesha, the wife of one Mr. Zubair was arrested along with her husband by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on the night of November 11, for allegedly supplying money to the individuals involved in the blasts on October 27, in Patna, Bihar.

The news outlets also unanimously quoted anonymous sources, that the arrested woman was operating close to "35 bank accounts in different names and transacted over 2 crore rupees and had lured local youth to open bank accounts". They also claimed that the money was remitted into these accounts from Pakistan.

Rejecting the malicious reports, Bihar's Lakhisarai Superintendent of Police, Mr. Rajiv Sharma said that, her arrest was in connection to illegal financial activities and not in connection to terrorism financing.

Mangalore city's Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Mr. Prathap Reddy said that, he is confident that there is no terror activity taking place in the western range of the region, and proclaimed that “no investigation agency has contacted us in relation to any such activities.”

If reporting this easily discernible concocted story was not enough, the media outlets also went to the extent of digging Ayesha Banu's past and wrote that 'Ayesha' was born 'Asha', a Hindu who later converted to Islam, after marrying a Muslim man. And it only looked like they were serving right-wing organisations' agenda, when they included a press statement by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, in their reports, which said that the case of Ayesha's arrest showed that Muslim men were luring Hindu woman "with love affairs and money and converted to Islam only to carry out dangerous and illegal activities like this. Hindu young women must be guard against Love Jihad which attract them towards colorful life in the beginning, but end up in jails, prostitution hubs, etc."



Worship While You Work Out: First Muslim Exercise DVD Hits U.S. Market

14 Nov, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Everyone knows losing weight is hard. What’s even harder is trying to lose weight when your friends aren't supportive of what you're trying to achieve.

That's the situation Nadine Abu Jubara found herself in a few years ago. An American Muslim of Palestinian descent living in Florida, Jubara says that, when she decided to try and shed a substantial amount of weight and get healthier, she found few allies in her Muslim community.

At weddings and parties where the tables heaved with Middle Eastern food, she would set about choosing the healthiest items and smallest portions and hear, "Oh come on, take more!" or, "It’s just one day, it’s just one bite!"

"There was almost this discouragement for what was going on, but I still held strong and I kept going and I made it to my goal,” she says.

Thirty kilos later, and lighter, she noticed a dramatic change in people's reactions.

Many were so impressed by her weight loss that they wanted to know how she did it.

"After about the hundredth time I was asked, 'What’s your secret?' I thought, clearly we have some sort of void in this community about this topic," Jubara says.

Jubara realized that Muslim women have few, if any, resources to help them lose weight and get healthy. Their challenges are unique: observant Muslim women wear modest, body-shrouding garments even while exercising, and face cultural pressures that emphasize lots of food and mealtimes with others, which makes individual eating choices difficult.

Newly svelte and healthy, Jubara says she decided to help other women overcome those challenges.

So the trained civil engineer created a website she called, "Nadoona," which means "call on us" in Arabic. She says she liked that when you say it in reverse, the name "almost sounds like 'a new dawn.'" She began charging a modest fee for personalized diet and exercise consultations and one-on-one video coaching.

'Fat And Cellulite Don't Discriminate'

The response was overwhelmingly positive, not just among Muslims, but also non-Muslim clients, which Jubara hoped would be the case.

"When I thought of this idea, I didn’t want it to eliminate anyone," she says. "As I always say, fat and cellulite don’t discriminate between races, so I never wanted to have those boundaries and barriers dividing us that we find in so many other arenas. It's a topic that we can all relate [to]."

Interest was so great that it gave Jubara another idea: "Nadoona Extreme," billed as "the first ever workout DVD for Muslim women."

"Transform your body in the comfort of your own home," it promises.

Jubara released "Nadoona Extreme" at the beginning of November after an initial printing of 2,000 copies. Customers have been preordering the video from the website for weeks.

The video features a terrifically fit woman named Zainab Ismail -- "the Hijabi Drill Sergeant" -- with a unique story: she's Puerto Rican, a former national body building champion, and a fitness trainer with 20 years of experience. She’s also a fairly recent convert to Islam.

In the video, Ismail wears athletic pants, a long-sleeved tunic, and a hijab as she performs simple but demanding moves like squats and lunges to a thumping soundtrack.



Sister and Her Lesbian Lover Attacked Because Relationship Is Against Islam

14 Nov, 2013

A Muslim man has been charged with assault after he attacked his own sister and her lesbian partner with a crowbar.

Ahmed Mohammed Tuma, 20, was arrested on November 8 after he allegedly beat his 22-year-old sister and her fiancée along with accomplice Nathan Marks.

Tuma has also been charged with terrorism and hate crime charges in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Marks faces charges of aiding and abetting terroristic threats and aiding and abetting the use of a weapon to commit a felony.

Tuma reportedly turned up at his sister's home in Lincoln last week armed with a crowbar.

The victim, who did not want her or her partner identified, told 'At first I didn't know who it was.

'Then I finally realized it was my brother... he had a crowbar in his hand, he tried to hit me with it.'

The two women managed to escape their attackers and get into their car. The men then hit the car with the bar and tried to push them into oncoming traffic.

It is believed that Tuma assaulted his sister because he feels her relationship is a 'disgrace' to their Muslim family.

Both Tuma and Marks are being held in police custody.



Prostitution ring discovered in Oman

14 Nov, 2013

Muscat: Royal Oman Police (ROP) have arrested 20 suspects during raids on different locations, in a crackdown against prostitution in the country.

Twelve Asian expatriates in Sohar were charged with prostitution, a police spokesman said. Officers confiscated cash found in the apartment, believed to have been earned through prostitution. In the Amarat suburb of Muscat, police raided a house used as a brothel and arrested four people.

Acting on a tip-off, police raided a health club in Izki and arrested four more Asians believed to have been involved in prostitution. All 20 suspects will be handed over to the Public Prosecution for further action.

The ROP spokesman urged property owners in Oman to be more vigilant before renting out their properties.

“They [owners] must ensure that the houses they rent out are not used for any illegal activities,” he added.

Meanwhile, police in Muscat arrested a suspected drug peddler. In North Batinah, four suspects were arrested after assaulting and robbing a petrol station worker. Two men was arrested in Ibri for robbing and assaulting an Asian man.



Online recruitment of housemaids in UAE

14 Nov, 2013

Abu Dhabi: An online maid recruitment service in the UAE is offering residents the chance to select the right candidate by viewing hundreds of professional CVs and video interviews of prospective househelp.

The website features a database of professionally prepared resumes and also YouTube videos in which prospective house help talk about their expertise and expectations.

French expat Eugenie Chenut, co-founder of told XPRESS the website was launched in 2012 to help residents make informed choices when recruiting a domestic help. “A video can speak volumes about a candidate,” said Chenut, who moved to the UAE two years ago with her husband.

With, residents can access a large database of housemaids by paying a monthly fee of Dh450. Paid members can use multi-search criteria based on salary, age, nationality, work experience and more, and contact the candidate directly.

For instance, Jeanette Bautista, a Filipino school helper, in a pre-recorded video interview on says she is willing to work only in Dubai and her expected salary is between Dh1,800 and Dh2,000.

The candidate then goes on to answer a series of questions posed by the interviewer such as her responsibilities and why she wants to leave her current job.

Housemaids can be contacted by phone or emails given on their CVs. Paid members can also have face to face interviews with the shortlisted candidates.

Chenut said the idea of launching an online portal of housemaids stemmed from her own experience in looking for one. “It was a nightmare to find a house help and most of the time you have to depend on word of mouth.”

The resumes prepared by the portal have details of the maid’s previous employment, language proficiency and visa status. The website also offers tips for recruiting maids, sponsoring maids and employee and employer codes of conduct.

According to Chenut, nine new CVS are posted on the website daily and the service is free for housemaids. Every candidate on the website is given professional training in housekeeping and basic communication skills.



Over 500 lingerie shops shut down for noncompliance


Curtains have come down on 500 lingerie shops in the Kingdom for violating recent government orders mandating feminization and Saudization of businesses selling women’s undergarments and accessories.

“Field inspectors sent out by the Ministry of Labor discovered that 1,173 shops in the Kingdom were violating regulations governing lingerie business during the last Hijri year ending Nov. 3,” said Abdullah Abuthnain, undersecretary at the ministry.

Inspection teams ensured that such shops strictly adhere to stipulations to be followed during the first and second stages of the implementation of the feminization of the shops, he said, adding that during the first phase, the inspectors covered lingerie shops while the second phase will focus on shops for women’s trousers and abaya (gown) and other accessories.

He said the inspections were intensified after the expiration of the grace period.

“Makkah Province topped the list of violators with 310 shops operating in violation of regulations, followed by Riyadh with 279 shops, Eastern Province with 228 shops, the Northern Border Province with 205 shops, while Asir Province was at the bottom of the list with 151 violating shops,” Abuthnain said.

He said that during the inspection, 514 shops were shut down, 409 shops rectified their violations and 174 businesses stopped selling women’s clothing and accessories. “The ministry will continue inspecting lingerie shops and take deterrent steps till these shops fully implement the conditions laid down by the ministry,” Abuthnain said.

The stipulations for lingerie shops include that the workers should be Saudi women and the work environment should provide them total seclusion from male customers and workers besides ensuring the safety of the shops.

Abuthnain said the ministry is currently studying the feasibility of Saudizing and feminizing shops selling women’s footwear, jilbab and ready-to-wear clothes. “But this will be done only after consultations with businessmen,” he said.