As part of the campaign to lift the ban on women selling lingerie in Saudi Arabia, 26 mostly-Saudi women recently completed a 40-hour training course to learn how to fit and sell underwear to other women.
As mentioned earlier, Saudi Arabia's strict segregation laws ban women from working in stores, which means that women have to buy underwear from male clerks. Three months ago, a group of Saudi women launched a campaign to boycott lingerie stores until the country allows them to employ women. Reem Asaad, the women who organized the boycott, says training women was the idea of Suhair al-Qurashi, who is also working on the campaign. The Associated Press reports:
"She wanted the training to be a part of the solution because the industry was complaining that there's a lack of qualified [women] in the market who can run and manage lingerie stores," said Asaad. "So we covered fitting and technical issues, we covered selling and handling customer complaints."
After hearing about the boycott online, an Australian women offered to teach the course and a group of Victoria's Secret employees sent a box of bras to be used during training. "It was a beautiful experience," said Faten Abdo, who works as a coordinator in the offices of a lingerie company. "The most shocking thing for me was the bra sizes. We didn't know how to get proper measurements before."
Yesterday, after completing the 10-day course in Jiddah, the women held a small graduation ceremony. British consul-general Kate Rudd attended to show support for the campaign. "It was a small step, but perhaps from this little drop there will be bigger ripples," said Rudd.
Saudi Women Learning To Sell Bras [The Associated Press]