Unescorted women are no longer allowed to enter Dunkin’ Donuts.
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that is.
New Dunkin’ Donuts signs have been posted on the doors stating that women cannot enter unescorted.
Starbucks in Riyadh prohibits all women from entering– sending them out to have their driver pick up their drink. In Arabic and English the sign states:
“Please no entry for ladies. Only send your driver to order. Thank you.”
Currently, women can enter McDonald’s and Pizza Hut through separate entrances. They still are required to sit and eat separately from the men and wear full face veils. (Families can eat in a separate area behind screens so that women can remove the veil covering their faces.)
For Starbucks, the sign is “necessary,” because the wall originally built inside the eating area designed to separate the seating of men and women had collapsed. And– more importantly– because the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, had instructed it to not admit women– or face severe penalties and/or be shut down.
A Starbucks spokesman told the Express: “All our stores provide equal amenities, service, menu, and seating to men, women and families. We are working as quickly as possible as we refurbish our Jarir store, so that we may again welcome all customers in accordance with local customs.”
The U.K. Daily Express points to a Twitter campaign designed to promote awareness of how women are treated in Saudi Arabia, protesting that western franchises like Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks are promoting sexism and discriminating against women.