It’s no secret that women are granted fewer privileges than men in Saudi Arabia. For example, a woman must be escorted by a male if she wants to perform a variety of tasks, such as opening a bank account or voting (which is a relatively new right). Additionally, women are not allowed to drive a car in the country.
But no one expected a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia to refuse entry to women, yet this is exactly what happened in Riyadh, the nation’s capital. According to a Twitter post by Manar N, she was refused service by the coffee company and was informed of this by a sign on the door which read: “Please no entry for ladies only send your driver to order – thank you,”
Frustrated, she took a picture of the sign and tweeted:
“Starbucks star in Riyadh refused 2 serve me just because I’m a WOMAN & asked me 2 send a man instead.”
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Meanwhile Starbucks in Saudi Arabia… pic.twitter.com/7nPW3duRjH
— Jenna Abrams (@Jenn_Abrams) February 6, 2017
Folks on the internet quickly became upset, as Starbucks is a company which prides itself on “progressive values,” such as its promise to hire 10,000 ‘refugees’ and its ‘Race Together’ campaign to combat racism in America.
It wasn’t long before the coffee chain explained that the post “was a temporary sign during a store renovation.” It was also noted in the public announcement that “this store now accommodates all customers in accordance with local law.”
@Jenn_Abrams That was a temporary sign during a store renovation. This store now accommodates all customers in accordance with local law.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) February 6, 2017
What’s intriguing is that there was no information whatsoever about a “renovation,” as well as no explanation how this would affect only women in the message, which was posted outside the store. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!