Canada protests Saudi ban on female staff


"Such unprofessional incidents are very damaging to Saudi Arabia’s international reputation," the embassy said in a statement following the closure at the 12th Middle East education fair in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

"Prior to the event, we specifically inquired whether women staff would be permitted at the exhibition and we were told by the organisers, the Al Harithy Company, that they would," it added.

The booth was closed because there were two women amongst the staff, an embassy official said, requesting anonymity.

He said that the kingdom’s notorious religious police were behind the move to shut the booth, which hosted several Canadian universities that had paid fees to participate in the exhibition targetting Saudi students.

"The exhibition was a mixed event for families … making the closing of the booth due to the presence of women staff members even more incomprehensible," the statement added.

Expected to cover from head-to-toe in public, women are not allowed to work in mixed environments in the ultra-conservative kingdom where only men work as salespersons.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *