Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saudi Arabian Airlines: Women, off thee to "the back of the house"

I've read snippets here and there about Muslim groups complaining about some Muslim women being discriminated against in the workplace because they choose to wear the veil. The belief is that these women, according to this line of thinking, are shunted off to generally less lucrative positions in "the back of the house," such as shipping, customer service, and bookkeeping. Client and customer-facing position, taking their argument one step farther, pay more, so veiled Muslim females get paid less, and therefore they're discriminated against.

I have no idea if any of this is true.

The next time I hear this complaint, I'm going to forward my post to whoever makes it. I'll ask them why don't they blow the whistle on the same thing happening to women in Saudi Arabia.

From Wednesday's Arab News:

Saudi Arabian Airlines announced yesterday that it would not employ Saudi women in the future as flight attendants, crewmembers, or as ground support staff.

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper mentioned in July that the carrier was studying the replacement of non-Saudis with Saudi women. But in an interview with Arab News, Saudia Director General Khaled Al-Mulhim said this would not happen. "We are studying the employment of women, but I do not think it would be as stewardesses or as employees working at airports,” he said. "The employment would be limited to departments which are ready to have women employees and not on-board flights or at airports."

That means, "the back of the house."

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