Saudi Bans Men From Selling Perfumes And Cosmetics To Women

Only female staff will be allowed to work in stores selling women’s products by October 2016, local media reported.

Saudi Arabia will implement the third phase of a labour ban, which prohibits men from selling accessories to women, local daily Saudi Gazette reported.

This phase will include replacing male staff in shops selling female perfumes, dresses, bags, shoes, socks, fabrics for women and pharmacies selling beauty products. The ban will also be applicable to stores selling mother care products but those selling baby-care products are exempted.

The ministry of labour plans has ruled that only female staff will be allowed to work in all stores selling women’s products by October 2016, local media reported.

These shops are also prohibited from asking their female employees to report for work before 9 am and to leave after 11 pm. In addition, outlets employing Saudi women are required to employ a female Saudi manager.

All violators will be categorised in the red zone of Nitaqat, according to the ministry.

Firms found to be employing expat women in such shops will be fined between SAR3,000 and SAR10,000 for each non-Saudi female employee. They will also be banned from getting visas or renewing iqamas of their employees.

Saudi women found flouting labour rules will also be heavily penalised, officials said.

Any Saudi woman, who agrees to have her name registered at a firm without working there, will be deprived of any financial support by the Human Resources Development fund for three years. If the offence is repeated, the financial support will be withdrawn for five years.

Saudi Arabia banned men from selling lingerie in 2012 following a royal decree by King Abdullah. The ruling was heavily criticised by religious clerics, who issued a fatwa against women working in lingerie shops while the Kingdom’s female activists largely welcomed it.

The second phase of the campaign saw male staff being replaced from shops selling abayas and other dresses last July.

The labour ministry has been stepping up inspection to check for any violations, media reported.

The campaign has helped ramp up Saudi Arabia’s female employment figures from 50,000 in 2009 to 454,000 currently, the reports added.