Saudi Arabia Ends Gender Segregation in Restaurant Entrances

People eating in McDonald's Saudi Arabia. (Image credit: Instagram/mcdonaldsarabia)

In a landmark decision, Saudi Arabia ended their decades-old practice of gender segregation in restaurant entrances. Restaurants are no longer required to maintain separate entrances segregated by sex, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs announced on Twitter.

Restaurants currently have two separate entrances: one for families and women, and another for unaccompanied men. International chains such as Starbucks, McDonalds too follow this rule and are segregated by family sections meant for women and singles sections for unaccompanied men.

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The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs latest statement, however, did not highlight if seating inside the restaurants would be gender-mixed.

The Gulf nation has been adapting a series of sweeping social reforms including allowing women to travel independently earlier this year and ending the ban on female drivers in 2018. All these changes are a part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s effort to modernise the nation.

Saudi is said to be one of the world’s most gender-segregated nations. The Crown Prince’s latest move may be viewed critically by the nation’s conservatives.

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Reports further added that the Crown Prince may announce a shift toward moderate Islam in 2020.

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