Saudi women break taboos with unconventional jobs

Updated 29 January 2014
0

Saudi women break taboos with unconventional jobs

Financial hardship and social circumstances have forced many Saudi women to accept jobs that they would have rejected in the past for traditional reasons.
“After my divorce, I stayed at my parent’s house with my five children,” said Um Nawal, a 30-year-old divorced mother. Her father told her to give up her children if she wanted to live in the family house.
“I refused, left the house and rented a place of my own. A friend told me about a job as a saleswoman at a women’s shop,” she said.
Um Nawal said, “I really needed income for my children to live a decent life. I accepted, but was embarrassed at first. I have since become the director of the branch.”
She explained that not working for fear of social reprimand is redundant, especially if the job can be carried out in a safe environment.
Bariah Ali, an event manager at a hotel, agreed with her: “I am a divorced woman with no children, but my financial situation is poor. I badly needed to earn my own fixed income to live a decent life.”
She said she found this job “despite my family’s objections, who care for our traditions as a conservative family.”
“I now earn more than my sister, who has been working as a teacher for 15 years,” said Ali.
Asmma, a director of a women’s shop, said she got a job as a saleswoman within six months of her divorce.
“I needed an income to provide for my children and pay rent. There is no shame in a woman working to provide for her family if the job is within a decent environment,” she said. She added that Saudi women proved they could work and succeed in every field of work.
Abrar Muhammad, a social worker at a charity organization, said some families still hold on to the idea that women should work only in a limited range of jobs.
“Some of our customs and traditions have forced women to enroll in a limited range of functions that are difficult to obtain, especially in these present circumstances.”
She referred to women working in public places that many parents reject under the pretext of mixing with men. “Women working in compliance with Islamic law by wearing Islamic attire is a very important issue for both the economics of the country at large and for females and their families,” said the social worker.


Nepali sherpa scales Everest record 24 times — with one more to go

Updated 20 min 17 sec ago
0

Nepali sherpa scales Everest record 24 times — with one more to go

  • Kami Rita Sherpa reached the 8,850-meter summit by the traditional southeast ridge route
  • The route was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953

KATMANDU: A Nepali sherpa reached the summit of Mount Everest a record 24th time on Tuesday, an official said, his second ascent in just a week, and he has set his sights on one more climb before he retires.
Kami Rita Sherpa, 49, reached the 8,850-meter summit by the traditional southeast ridge route, tourism department official Mira Acharya said.
The route was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and remains the most popular snow trail leading to the highest point on Earth.
Two other climbers, both sherpas, have scaled Everest 21 times each. They have both retired from mountaineering.
Kami, who goes by his first name, says he wants to climb the mountain one more time.
“I am still strong and want to climb Sagarmatha 25 times,” Kami told Reuters before leaving for his 23rd climb, referring to the Nepali name for Everest.