Saudi Arabia opens first women-only call center

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Saudi women, who are prohibited by society from living or working independently without written permission from a male guardian, will now be part of a first-of-its-kind, “women-only” call center in the country. Kanoo Travel, one of the leading travel management companies in the Middle East, said 20 female employees have undergone telephone operation training as the company started a “ladies-only” call center, Xinhua quoted Arab News as saying.

“Kanoo Travel is also one of the first travel companies in the country to introduce exclusive ladies centers,” said Ali Abdullah Kanoo, the company’s director.

The call center has earned praise from the company’s clients.

Saudi females – who make up to nine million of the kingdom’s 18.5 million people – are subject to a guardian system, which prohibits any woman from driving, traveling, or living independently without written permission from a male guardian who could be either her husband, father, or brother.

Over the years, working as a teacher in girls-only schools was the only job sanctioned for Saudi women, but recently there has been a growing number of Saudi professional women and female doctors.

“Saudi Arabia is a very important market. Over the past few years, our business has grown tremendously in the country,” said another company official, Othman Al-Ghamdi.