Saudi Arabia: Men and Women to be Segregated in Bank Headquarters
"We are gutted. The flow of business will be ridiculous and we will not be able to attend important meetings, which will significantly hamper our career development," a senior Saudi woman banker said on condition of anonymity. "We graduated to work in banks because they offered unparalleled career development opportunity in the kingdom, and now this. We are making one step forward and ten steps backwards," she added.
Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic laws and customs stop unrelated men and women from mixing, banning them from driving cars and voting in municipal elections.
Some senior Saudi officials have expressed support for women joining the labour force in a country where expatriates hold nearly 90 per cent of jobs in the private sector. But the powerful religious establishment has strongly resisted any changes, Western diplomats say.
There are up to 3,000 Saudi women among an estimated 60,000 employees in Saudi banks.
Managers from three Saudi banks said the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) – the country's central bank-and Labour Ministry officials held a meeting earlier this month with bank managers to inform them of the new system. "They want to end the mixing of genders at banks' headquarters. They have initially given us one month to comply but later extended the deadline to the end of the summer holidays," said one of the managers on condition of anonymity.
25 June 2007
- Turkey: International intellectuals call on the Turkish government to desist from its repression of popular protest
- Iran's 'Zahra' Tells Alternate Tale Of Presidential Campaign
- Tunisia: European Women go on Trial for Topless Protest
- Saudi Arabia: "There is not one law in Saudi Arabia that regards violence toward women as an illegal activity": what's really behind Saudi's domestic abuse problem?
- India: Divorce dictates dire conditions for Muslim women
- Sudan: Female lawyer detained, risks torture!
- Sudan: New arrests of Nuba activists!
- Sudan: Khadija Mohamed Badr Health Deteriorating in Detention
- Oman: End the Detention of Women Human Rights Defenders
- Bahrain: Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition Statement on Bahrain in Solidarity with Al Khawaja