United Arab Emirates (UAE) women have expressed concerns over the lack of female staff at the lingerie sections of cloth stores in Sharjah.
Women shoppers said they feel "embarrassed" to interact with male staff about the "specifications of undergarments", Khaleej Times reported on Sunday.
According to shoppers, the problem is prevalent at open markets like Irani Souq, Al Ghuwair market and Sharjah Central Souq.
Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, a member of the UAE's Supreme Council, had earlier introduced a law banning men from working in women's lingerie and undergarment shops.
Women of various nationalities are urging the authorities concerned to conduct inspections at outlets that are flouting the rules.
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These are private pieces of clothing and gender sensitivity must be adopted, said a resident, Sanna Yosuf. "Lingerie stores should have privacy and must not have male employees. Many women find it difficult to seek help from shop assistants if they are male. It is only logical to have women selling those items."
Al Anood Al Jasmi, another resident, said: "It is difficult for me to ask strange men about such things. Also, most shops have surveillance cameras that capture such things being discussed. How can we be sure that such videos won't be circulated?"
The presence of male staff at such stores has decreased after the law issued by the government. "However, some shops, even if they have a female salesperson, have male cashiers or supervisors and this makes women uncomfortable. I don't accept men in these shops," said Awadia Mustafa, another shopper.
Echoing similar concerns, Maha Khalifa said she found it difficult to shop for private clothes from stores that had a lingerie section with male employees. "The odd thing is that they have women at the cashier desk. Why can't they have females in the female section?"
The article was originally appeared in Khaleej Times.
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