Saudization and 'feminization' in retail - a tall order to fill?

Published November 26th, 2015 - 12:23 GMT

The Ministry of Labor announced on Tuesday that it has extended the deadline for feminizing women’s retail stores.

Assistant Deputy Minister of Labor Abdulmunim Al-Shihry said during the Jeddah Human Resources Forum 2015 that the original deadline for feminizing women’s retail stores was Oct. 14.

“The ministry decided to postpone the deadline to give owners of women’s retail stores more time to make the workplace and work environment suitable for women employees,” said Al-Shihry.

He also said more and more Saudi women are being employed in the private sector.

“A total of 466,609 women were employed in 2014. Several programs have been launched by both private and public establishments to tackle the issue of women’s unemployment. The programs included raising awareness among women of the opportunities available to them and how to apply for a job,” said Al-Shihry.

He also said for a company to employ women, it must adhere to the ministry’s Charter and must adjust the workplace in order to make it suitable for women.

Women’s privacy in the workplace must be respected. The employer must also take into account transportation, working hours, maternity leave, and space for a creche,” said Al-Shihry.

“We encourage women to participate in all fields of work and industries. We are working on empowering women by offering full-time, part-time and distance working opportunities. We are also incorporating high school students, university students and students who were on scholarships abroad through talent programs such as “Mowhiba” which is held in cooperation with the Ministry of Education,” he said.

In 2012, the ministry started the feminization campaign, and decided to phase out men from women-exclusive showrooms and stores in three phases. By October 2016, the ministry had planned to achieve its goal to employ women in all stores selling women’s accessories.


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