A very good step taken by the Saudi Government is passing the resolution to deploy only female staff at lingerie shops in Saudi Arabia. Buying bra or underwear was a hell of trouble before that. A BBC story illustrated how lingerie shopping in Saudi Arab was classified as embarrassing and an un-enjoyable, which must come as a shock to us all. Maybe this has to do with the fact that Saudi Arabia is a strict society or the fact that in a society where Non-Mehram men and women are to be separated and segregated by law, 98 per cent of lingerie stores in the Kingdom were staffed by men.
Although many of these men simply try to do their jobs, the others – namely those who surrender to their manly intuition- try to take advantage of their position which gives them access to women and opens up an opportunity to speak more intimately. After all, every woman wants a bra that fits, which opened up a window for these men staff to speak to a woman about size, style etc. For people from a more open society these discussions might not be uncomfortable (according to BBC), but for Saudi women who are only allowed to freely mingle and speak with her Mehram, this is an awkward experience.
But why it took so long to deploy female staff on lingerie shops? Well maybe because of the need for permission from the Mehram for the woman to work outside the home, or the fact that women themselves aren’t allowed to drive and thus are completely dependent on her Mehram for transport.
But then again it’s not like Saudi Arabia doesn’t have some female only malls which are in fact fully staffed and operated by women, the disadvantage is that not only are they few and far between but also tend to be more expensive, and honestly which woman will buy something expensive when she knows she can buy it cheaper.
There used to be so many difficulties for women as they had to face men for buying lingerie. A woman who is brought up in gender segregated environment cannot be comfortable with the men telling them her size or choice. She cannot tell a male lingerie shopkeeper about the specific nighties she needs. She cannot obviously take suggestion from the male staff about the new designs and styles of inner garments. To be concise, it was a very difficult experience to shop at lingerie shops with the male staff. I would like to thank Saudi Government who has taken this initiative to deploy only female staff at lingerie shops.
The above content was initially published on Susie of Arabia
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