Saudi women banned from working in gold industry

On top of a driving ban and the many other restrictions women in Saudi Arabia endure has been added another deprivation.

UAE-based business site Mubasher reports that the kingdom's National Committee for Precious Metals and Gems appointed by the country's chamber of business has decided – after a study of the pros and cons – that women would not be allowed to work in the gold industry.

The Committee found that including women in the gold industry is not feasible, saying that it will limit the gold trade and even be "disastrous" for investments in the gold sector.

The ban includes including work in factories, workshops, and the country's gold retail outlets. The Middle-Eastern state's gold shops number more than 7,000 and employs 35,000 people.

Reasons for the interdict centre on worries about security and female safety as in Saudi Arabia, like in most nations, gold workshops and stores are the targets of robbers, the review points out.

The study and findings followed an initiative taken by the Ministry of Labour a few years ago to improve women's employment rates in the country and boost the Saudization of the kingdom's labour force.

The vast majority of workers in the gold industry in the country are foreigners.