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Saudi Campaign Targets Lingerie Salesmen


A new campaign in Saudi Arabia seeks to replace male employees of lingerie shops with women, citing the contradiction of men staffing women's intimate-garment stores in the conservative Islamic country.

According to the BBC, economics professor Reem Asaad from Jeddah organized the two-week boycott on her Facebook page because public protests are illegal in Saudi Arabia.

The campaign strikes at the heart of religion and women's roles in the country. While Islamic leaders generally back the idea of women-only lingerie stores, the boycott exposes their reluctance to allow women to work outside the home.

"The Wahhabi strain of Islam, which dominates the country, requires absolute separation of unrelated members of the opposite sex," reports the BBC.

On the other hand, "Parts of Saudi society are still very traditional and do not like the idea of women working -- even if they are just selling underwear to each other."

The boycott began on the eve of a visit from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is scheduled to head to Saudi Arabia late on Monday.

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Julie Bolcer