Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lingerie Lessons in Jeddah

A group of 26 mostly Saudi women completed a course on how to fit, stock and sell underwear, in hopes that this type of training would help boost a campaign to lift the ban on women selling lingerie in the kingdom.

After 40 hours of instruction, using bras donated by Victoria's Secret, the women held a ceremony at Dar Al Hekma College in Jeddah on Tuesday. How did Victoria's Secret find out about this push in Saudi Arabia? Facebook. Once again, smart use of open-source tools can build networks that were previously near impossible to build.

The 10-day training course occured just three months after the launch of a campaign to boycott lingerie stores until they employ women. The aim of the boycott? Simply the implementation of an existing law (passed in 2006) which says only female staff can be employed in women's colthing stores.

According to Reem Asaad (a finance lecturer at the college and the main force behind the boycott campaign) the course was the idea of Dr. Suhair al-Qurashi, Dean of Dar al-Hekma College.

"She wanted the training to be a part of the solution because the industry was complaining that there's a lack of qualified (women) in the market who can run and manage lingerie stores," said Asaad. "So we covered fitting and technical issues, we covered selling and handling customer complaints."

British consul-general of Jeddah, Kate Rudd, attended the ceremony to show her support.

No comments:

Post a Comment