Saudi Labor Ministry Publishes ‘Men-Only’ Professions List


JAFFA, Israel – The Saudi Ministry of Labor has published a list of professions from which women are banned.

A ministry official told Al Arabiya Online that the list is meant to protect women’s rights and prevent them from practicing dangerous professions.

The list includes the following jobs:

  • Mining and underground labor
  • Sewage maintenance
  • Construction and digging
  • Jobs requiring climbing on scaffolds
  • Welding and work with ovens
  • Work at power plants and energy-related jobs
  • Manufacturing of fireworks and firecrackers
  • Metal works and mechanics
  • Glassblowing
  • Chemical and biological waste handling
  • Ship loading
  • Work with minerals containing more than 10 percent lead
  • Manufacturing or repairing batteries
  • Rubber manufacturing
  • Leather manufacturing
  • Fossil fuels handling
  • Chemical painting
  • Manufacturing or distilling products made from lead
  • Cleaning of female-only workshops
  • Cleaning or repairing machines in operation

Some commenters to the article wondered what jobs women could still have, while others sided with the government and said that the list is likely to protect women.

“Who are you kidding?” one commenter asked. “If women aren’t allowed to leave the house without a sanctioned companion, how could they work at all? All these bans are irrelevant because Saudi women are prevented from seeing the light of day.”