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Saudis order gender segregation walls

Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:14 AM   |   Comments

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Shops employing men and women must build separation walls to enforce segregation, Saudi Arabian Labor Minister Adel Faqih ordered.

The new rule requires a separation barrier no shorter than 5.2 feet to be built in workplaces that employ members of both sexes, al-Arabiya reported Tuesday. Abdullatif al-Sheikh, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtues and Prevention of Vice, clarified the decision, the pan-Arab network said.

Saudi authorities have been promoting conservative rules in the country's shopping malls. In June 2011, lingerie shops in the kingdom were required to replace salesmen with saleswomen. Similar steps were taken in cosmetic outlets, al-Arabiya said.

Attempting to justify the decision at the time, the Labor Ministry said the move would create thousands of jobs for Saudi women.

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