Labor Minister Adel Fakeih is quoted in Arab news saying that …”86 per cent of the jobs done by expatriates are not suitable for Saudis…” The article goes on to say that Saudis “new” workforce which comprises 85 per cent of those seeking jobs are women. The 86 per cent of the jobs done by expatriates in the Kingdom are menial jobs not suitable for women or new graduates.
With all respect, I think I disagree with the Labor Minister. Everyone has to start somewhere when entering the work force. I do not see anything wrong with menial labor such as working as a gas station, in a grocery store or some other such shop. I also do not see anything wrong if a Saudi chose to work for an entity which made deliveries. Of course, due to the cultural restrictions, most of the above positions mentioned would not be suitable for a Saudi woman.
However, I don’t see anything wrong with a Saudi woman working in the capacity as a domestic worker, cook or nanny to a Saudi family during the day. I know there is controversy that she may be exposed to unknown men from her employer’s family. However, it seems to me that can certainly be worked around. An honest day’s pay is an honest day’s pay.
In fact, I don’t see why several Saudi women could not join forces and create a business which caters to the needs of busy executives who do not have families to take care of their errands. These women could do most of their work via email, text and through a web site. They could do the shopping and run errands for the man without a family. They do not need to see him. Payment can be made electronically. Similar businesses in other countries have been quite successful for women.
Alternatively the Saudi woman can open a business which provides home cooked meals delivered to the client’s home. This business does not need to be restricted to Saudi clients. There are probably a number of single expatriates who would welcome having a traditional home made meal delivered. Again, the business would allow the woman to maintain her integrity, meet cultural restrictions but also provide her with valid employment.
I don’t think opportunities for employment and earning an honest living are that hard to find when imagination is put to use.
I’ve suggested a few of my ideas. What are some of yours?
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