Saudi Arabia’s labour ministry has ordered the closure of around 100 lingerie shops in the capital Riyadi for having men on their sales staff, according to reports.

A ministry official reportedly told the Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper that all shops which violate a decree on the “feminisation and nationalisation of jobs” would be shut down.

The measure aims to “provide a safe environment for working women,” he said.

The ministry at the start of the year banned male assistants from working at lingerie shops, as a first step to be followed by women-only sales assistants at cosmetics outlets.

King Abdullah issued a decree in June last year limiting work for females at lingerie shops to Saudi women only in a bid to reduce high female unemployment in the conservative kingdom. The decree was issued despite the objections of top clerics.

Unemployment among women in the oil-rich state is estimated at 30 per cent.

Source: telegraph