10 Saudi women take cleaning jobs

Pinched by worsening unemployment, 10 Saudi women accepted cleaning jobs at a rest house in the Gulf kingdom, triggering a wave of online protests by local men.

Newspapers in the world’s oil superpower said the 10 women work eight hours a day inside the kitchen at the rest house in the central province of Qasseem and quoted them as saying they decided to accept these jobs after a futile job search for years.

“I don’t care what they say about my work…what matters is that it is an honest job which I should not be ashamed of,” said one woman, who has seven children.

“I just want to support my children after the death of their father a few years ago…I am proud of my work as long as I can support my family,” she told Alwatan daily.

Another unidentified woman said she works until 10 pm to support her family, adding that she has been encouraged by her husband.

“I just want to help my husband and my children…this is honest work and my husband does not mind…I got this job with his encouragement,” she said.

Newspapers in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, on Tuesday reported that a large number of Saudi men expressed their anger on Twitter and Facebook at those women for accepting cleaning jobs, adding that some of them blamed the system.

Saudi Arabia has been reeling under high jobless rates because of its large foreign community, high population growth and slow economic growth in some years. Unemployment is officially put at around 11 per cent while it is believed to be as high as 25 per cent among Saudi women.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

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