Saudi Arabia is on the cusp of great social change: women are for the first time being permitted to work outside the home as sales clerks in shops that serve a female clientele. Women in Saudi Arabia have long been barred from working in retail, lest they have to interact with male customers who are not relatives, which is forbidden. But in practice, the rule insured that women who wanted to buy things like clothing, makeup, and especially lingerie had to seek help from male sales clerks, whom the Times reports were mostly South Asian immigrants.
Activists who have been campaigning to change the law seized upon the idea of women being too embarrassed to talk about underwear with male sales clerks. So now women are allowed to work in stores that sell woman-y stuff to women. (Public spaces in Saudi Arabia, including stores and restaurants, are segregated by gender.) The Times traces the history of the campaign: