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Here's why a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia is refusing entry to women

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:35 IST

Simply put, their gender segregated wall is being renovated, so they can't let in women, obviously!

Even as women in India are fighting for entry into a temple, the Starbucks in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, has banned the entry of women at one of their local branches.

Lady customers who visited the store situated in an uptown locality found a note taped to the front door that read:

"Please no entry for ladies only send your driver to order. Thank You."

As is with disgruntled customers these days, they took to Twitter to vent their outrage:

Their predicament on why they can no longer serve female customers was explained in a local newspaper, Al Weaam. Reportedly, an inspection by the religious police found that the wall that segregates men and women in the cafe was not up to the mark. It ordered the cafe management to stop allowing women till the wall had been fixed.

In most Islamic countries, especially the Saudi Arabia, where women are still struggling to gain the right to drive, social spaces are gender segregated.

"Starbucks in Saudi Arabia adheres to the local customs by providing separate entrances for families as well as single people," their spokesperson told Metro.co.uk.

Interestingly, Starbucks had had to make quite a few compromises to open its business in the oil capital of the world. For one, they had to get rid of their topless mermaid on their signature logo; stores in the Islamic country carry only the brand's name with a modified version of the logo.

Little progress has been made in the field of women's rights, and it was only in 2015 that women were first allowed to participate in local elections. However, on a whole, the patriarchal country has a long way to go in recognising the rights of the opposite sex.

First published: 5 February 2016, 5:26 IST