Saudi women prove to be good value for money in the workplace

World

Saudi women prove to be good value for money in the workplace

Despite a strict conservative backdrop, Saudi Arabian women are slowly filling up jobs once designated for foreigners

Raya Jalabi

Stepping out of a shared taxi in central Riyadh, Reham Al-Ahmed walked into the mall where she works four days a week selling cosmetics.

Al-Ahmed, a high school graduate, is the first woman in her family to have a job. Her parents had never wanted her to work but they eventually relented as life in the capital became too expensive.

With steep new taxes and cuts to government subsidies, many families are increasingly relying on women to work. In doing so, women are negotiating a new place for themselves in their country’s delicate social fabric — a trend celebrated by some and watched suspiciously by others in a nation still tethered to its conservative traditions...

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