Qatar’s Central Municipal Council (CMC) has pressed for an immediate ban on men working in stores that sell women’s products, “to protect the traditions and customs of Qatari society,” Qatar Tribune reports.
After debating the issue twice, a majority of the council voted for “early action” to establish a new rule that would allow only female staff to work in shops specializing in women’s clothing, hair accessories and perfumes, CMC Vice-President Jassim bin Abdullah al Maliki told the newspaper.
CMC members say a ”flood of complaints” from citizens about the presence of male staff in shops prompted their call for action, the newspaper adds.
The CMC – which is directly elected by the Qatari voting-age population every four years – has no legislative authority, but works in an “advisory and monitoring” role.
Accordingly, it has submitted an unspecified number of related recommendations to the Ministry of Municipality for “necessary action.” Among those is a call to ban displays of women’s underwear near the entrances of stores, the Tribune reports.
The council’s vote comes despite an existing law that already prohibits men from working in female clothing shops, which was passed in November 2011.
According to that law, “commercial activities should not disturb social and religious values.” However, some shop owners have apparently ignored this rule due to lack of enforcement, and others have complained that it is difficult to obtain work visas for single women.
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