Middle East

Saudi Arabia to allow women to work in pharmacies

Riyadh, Feb 4 (IANS/EFE): Saudi Labor Minister Adel Faqih announced on the weekend that women will soon be allowed to work in pharmacies, a job held only by men so far, media reports said.

Faqih said at a private business event that his ministry was working to prepare a "safe and proper" environment that guarantees the employment of women in pharmacies.

The minister, who did not specify when the new measure will enter into effect, admitted that his department had faced criticism over its programme designed to offer more job opportunities to Saudi women.

In January 2011, stores selling feminine products in Saudi Arabia began to hire women to replace male employees in accord with a resolution by the Labor Ministry.

Moreover, Jan 11 of this year Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz issued a decree authorising the entry of 30 women into the country's Consultative Assembly, or Shura Council, which up to that date had included only men.

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