Saudi Arabia Bans Men from Selling Lingerie

A law allowing only women to work in lingerie shops in Saudi Arabia is coming into force. Campaigners hope this will end decades of awkwardness in the Islamic kingdom where women have always been served by male shop assistants.

The heated issue of the total lack of female shop workers in Saudi Arabia has simmered for years. Many Saudi women say they have felt particularly uncomfortable buying their lingerie from men. Female campaigners recently increased the pressure for change through a Facebook campaign and a boycott of lingerie stores. Now King Abdullah’s royal decree finally comes into effect, banning male staff from selling female underwear.

The campaign has gained extra momentum from the increasing number of young women who want to enter the workplace. The Saudi women who can work are usually the educated elite who do professional jobs in medicine or government. The new law could potentially create up to 40,000 jobs for ordinary Saudi women who have hitherto had little or no access to employment. But it also means that male clerks, most of whom are foreign workers, will be out of a job.

The Ministry of Labour will be posting observers in shopping centres to make sure the new shop assistants do not get harassed in their first weeks of work. The ban on male staff in lingerie departments is due to be extended to cosmetics shops from July.


Source: BBC News

Image: Emirates 24/7

RIM to Have New Chairmen?

A new report suggests that Research in Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry, is looking to make some changes to its board of directors, changes that could cast aside current co-chairmen Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

According to the Financial Post, a committee of independent directors are assessing whether Lazaridis and Balsillie — who also serve as co-CEOs of the beleaguered company — should be replaced as chair.

The Post cites sources familiar with the matter as pegging Barbara Stymiest, who joined the RIM board in 2007, as the leading candidate for replacement. Back in July, RIM agreed to a review of its governance structure. This agreement followed calls from unhappy shareholders for the company to separate the roles of chair and chief executive. As the Post notes, separating the roles of chairman and CEO is more common in Canada and the UK than it is in the United States.  The governance review is expected to be delivered by Jan. 31.

RIM struggled significantly in 2011. Not only did its stock drop dramatically, it cut 2,000 jobs and it wrote-down nearly $500 million on its PlayBook tablet. RIM continues to slash prices on the PlayBook, but that hasn’t been enough to stop the decline in market share. Even worse, during its last quarterly earnings call, the company announced that its next-generation BlackBerry 10 devices would be delayed until late 2012.


Source: Mashable

Image: Technorati