Nice piece in the Washington Post about women unemployment in Saudi Arabia. Most of the good stuff are on the third page*, though, where the reporter Kevin Sullivan speaks with Saudi Labor Minister Adel Fakeih:
Officials acknowledge that change comes slowly in such a hard-line religious environment.
“It is not happening in as many numbers as we would like, but it is happening,” said Labor Minister Adel M. Fakeih. “Women are working in the banking sector, in manufacturing, in training and development, human resources, in consulting.”
Fakeih said his department was trying to create jobs that allow women to work from home so they can still manage children and household responsibilities.
“We want to open a whole new world for women, and at the same time will be in tune with our culture with how we’d like our families to continue to be,” he said. “We don’t want necessarily to copy a Western lifestyle.”
Fakeih noted that some women don’t have a “sense of urgency” to work, because under Islamic sharia law, men are required to be financially responsible for women. Even if a woman earns far more money than her husband, he is required to pay for her needs, Fakeih said.
“She can decide not to spend any of her money,” he said. “She can just keep her money to go to Hawaii or something. That’s the law.”
A sense of urgency is lacking in many things in our country.
* shame on WaPo for not providing a single-page view of stories on their site