Let women work too
Abdullah Abu Al-Samh of Arab News writes in favour of moves to employ female cashiers in supermarkets in Saudi Arabia. Kipp agrees.
September 5, 2010 3:41 by Samuel Potter
It is heartening to note the encouraging response to the decision of a leading supermarket in Jeddah to employ women cashiers in its counters.
The employment of women is not prohibited in our religion and it is also a social and cultural need, Muhammad Abdul Latif Al-Asheikh wrote in Al-Jazirah daily.
A leading jeweler started employing women at its counters many years ago and it has proved to be a success though they had to face some resentment in the beginning.
The employment of women is not a novel development. Women used to work in the retail markets in Muqaibirah Souq and the vegetable markets in Riyadh, Makkah and Madinah. In early Islamic history there are instances of women working in markets. Second Caliph Umar bin Al-Khatab (may Allah be pleased with him) appointed a woman to supervise the markets in Madinah. However, such progressive practices were stopped in later times, and even banned, after some extremist elements started blocking social progress.
Now it has become imperative that all facilities should be made for large-scale employment of women as women are graduating from schools and universities.
“If women are banned from finding work in fields such as the retail business and service sectors, then women’s unemployment will aggravate as time passes and will reach a point that it will endanger the security and stability of society. Hunger is a major factor that leads to the political and social upheavals in addition to moral degeneration,” Al-Asheikh wrote.
Every intelligent person agrees with him that there is no way for us to overcome women’s unemployment except by sidestepping the unfounded fear or worry expressed by some people about women’s employment.
It should also be noted that there is no ban against women working in other Muslim countries. Inflexibility in such matters will not help solve any problem nor will it help social progress.
On the other hand, extreme attitudes will only lead to corruption and immorality that stands in the way of country’s progress.