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Saudi female employees resume work in malls amid strict health precautionary measures

RIYADH — Saudi female employees have resumed work since Wednesday in the malls in all regions of the Kingdom. Shoppers, including citizens and expatriates, have begun flocking to the malls to purchase their needs, amid high standard measures set up by owners of these malls to protect shoppers’ health.

These steps are in line with the precautionary measures called for by the state to curb the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

SPA met several of these female Saudi employees, who have resumed work in the malls, in line with the royal order to ease curfew measures during the period Ramadan 6–20, 1441H.

They unanimously expressed their thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for all the financial support the state has provided the private sector to mitigate the impacts of the precautionary measures to stem the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

Young woman Alyaa Al-Khath’ami, who works in a shop selling international brands of ladies’ wear, said she joined work in the store recently. She expressed happiness working with her Saudi sisters in the store.

At the same time, Al-Khath’ami contributes to serving the shoppers. She stressed that this job is an important source of income for her and her family.

The income will help her live a happy life. She added that it is also an opportunity to gain experience from her job, which will inevitably help her in future, according to her.

Meanwhile, Noorah Abdullah, manager of one of the shops, said: “In the process of selling goods during the period allowed by the state, we are keen to ensure compliance with the highest safety standards in the store.

“We always alert the shoppers to take the necessary precautionary measures for the sake of public safety of the shoppers in the malls and markets. I’m very happy to resume work with my female colleagues. We are all enthusiastic to work hard to meet the shoppers’ needs during the period allowed for shopping.”

Young Saudi Al-Hanouf said that she is working as an assistant sales manager in one of the branches. She said that she has four years experience in international products.

Al-Hanouf added that she has made preparations to exert her utmost efforts to meet the local market demand during the specified period Ramadan 6–20.

She stressed that they are following up on how the precautionary measures are being carried out, including testing and checking up female employees and shoppers to ensure public safety.

Saudi women have set an good example for work in the private sector, specifically in malls, which for them is a new experience, if we take into consideration the past few years when women started joining the marketing field in shops, whether as female investors or salespersons.

Within a short time, women have been able to show creativity in their work and have proved themselves. Women have been accepted by a wide segment of shoppers, whether citizens or expatriates.

The number of female Saudi employees in the government sector and various private sector companies, establishments and malls during Q4 2019 has reached 1,115,414.

These formed 26 percent of the total manpower in the Kingdom — both males and females — according to the labor market bulletin for Q4 2019, issued by the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).

As to the private sector, the percentage of women in the labor market has risen from 23 to 25 percent by the end of Q3 2019, amid the endeavor to empower women in the labor market.

Meanwhile, women’s contribution to the economy has increased from 17 to 23.2 percent by the end of Q3 2019, according to the statistics of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.



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