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Washington University: Katherine Zoepf on Women in the Saudi Workforce

Event Date:

April 2, 2014 | 6:30 PM EDT
A Saudi employee helps a customer at a dress shop in Al Faisaliah Mall. Image by Kate Brooks. Saudi Arabia, 2013.

An emerging class of female retail workers is raising new questions about the direction of the Saudi...

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In June 2011, King Abdullah banned men from working in lingerie and cosmetics shops and ordered that the jobs be opened to Saudi women. Nearly 30,000 Saudi women immediately applied for roughly 6,000 positions. Saudi women now also have begun to work in other retail jobs, particularly those serving mainly female customers. Image by Kate Brooks. Saudi Arabia, 2013.

Join Pulitzer Center grantee and New America Foundation fellow Katherine Zoepf on Wednesday, April 2 at Washington University in St. Louis, as she examines the changing opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia and the impact it is having on them and their society.

In Saudi Arabia, women have faced endless restrictions in their daily lives, from limited employment opportunities to driving bans. Then in 2011, a decree from King Abdullah allowed women to work in lingerie shops and other businesses with a female clientele. This decree put tens of thousands of Saudi women to work.

In her project for Pulitzer Center "New Employment for Saudi Women," Zoepf investigates what it means to be a woman in Saudi workforce. Explore and learn about the changing gender role in Saudi Arabia with Zoepf in this talk.

Wednesday, April 2
6:30 pm
Washington University in St. Louis
Seigle 204
St. Louis, MO


Three women grouped together: an elderly woman smiling, a transwoman with her arms folded, and a woman holding her headscarf with a baby strapped to her back.


Gender Equality

Gender Equality
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