​Restaurants in Saudi Arabia Are Illegally Banning Single Women

Saudi Arabia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has asked several restaurant owners in the country to take down signs banning single women (women without a husband or male guardian) from their eateries. Apparently restaurant owners felt these women were behaving in an utterly “shocking” manner.

A restaurant owner justified his ban on single women, telling Al-Hayat that he put up the sign after witnessing “numerous incidents” of flirting and generally causing a ruckus. Flirting! Quick! Someone call Mikimoto—this dude needs some more pearls to clutch. BBC reports (and translates):

“We’ll only remove these signs when we make sure such incidents never happen again on our premises,” he told the paper.

Clearly banning an entire demographic just because of the supposedly inappropriate behavior of a few of them makes this guy a really great business owner. Meanwhile a spokesman for NSHR has decried the signs, maintaining that they are in fact illegal and demanding their immediate removal. Via Saudi Gazette:

“These signs are against the law and reflect the personal opinions of the restaurant owners,” Al-Fakhri said. Restaurants should come up with alternative solutions if its customers are behaving inappropriately, he said.

Women are expected to be escorted by a male chaperone and still aren’t allowed to operate a vehicle, so restaurants and cafes are some of the only places Saudi women can hang out unaccompanied. Banning them would not only be incredibly unfair, it would be an incredibly stupid business decision. Women have already called for a boycott of restaurants with “No Single Women” signs in their windows, so yeah, good luck with those illegal bans, restaurant owners.

Image via AP.

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