Saudi officials call to open jobs for women
RIYADH: A senior Saudi cleric and a health ministry official said women should be allowed to work as paramedics and opticians, Saudi newspapers reported yesterday, part of a push to relax strict labor codes in the ultra-conservative kingdom. “It’s fine (for a woman) to work as a paramedic, provided she’s decent and in the lawful attire,” a senior member of the state-appointed body of clerics, the ulama, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Manea told Okaz daily. Mohammad Bajbair, a senior health official in the Red Sea commercial hub of Jeddah, told the Saudi Gazette that women could work in opticians’ shops as long as they do not mix with men. “If a complaint is received by the health affairs department about the mixed environment then the shop might be closed down,” said Bajbair.