Monday, October 17, 2011

Extreme Gender Segregation

This is a sign on the door of a Subway sandwich shop in Saudi Arabia. Women are not allowed in restaurants that do not have separate entrances and sections for families.

27 comments:

  1. Wow thats crazy. I live in Riyadh which is much more strict and although the Subways here are not for families I have went in to order my own sandwich and no one said anything.

    Maybe the religious police made them do that.

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  2. That is ridiculous! And the sad thing is that they don't realize how sexist that is. Sounds like the "No blacks allowed" signs from decades ago in the southern states of America!

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  3. saud fudgepackerOct 18, 2011, 3:14:00 AM

    i just can't believe such a society exists in this day and age, surrounded by far more progressive and civilized nations.

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  4. I agree with Andrew, reminds me of the separate drinking fountains, restrooms, and entrances for blacks and whites in the south. Can't believe we're seeing this for women in 2011!

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  5. I agree with Andrew, reminds me of the separate drinking fountains, restrooms, and entrances for blacks in the south.

    Can't believe this exists today for women in 2011!

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  6. it is not a big problem but if you add closing five times for prayer and the rest to the recipe .You are in for a logic mess .

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  7. Those who made those "clumsy" like laws are the ones who break them first ..Have you heard of the Imam who married 6 wives 2 years or so ago .Have you seen how people park their cars in front of Friday mosques .Just ignore most of those signs that don't make sense as Noor just indicated above.Have you been to Al-Rashid mall chain restaurant in Khobar and see how families ignore the sign that says " Singles Seating Only " . They are still until today ignoring this silly sign .

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  8. Wow, that sign sure could cause a kerfluffle if its US customers saw it. Remarkable that they actually put their logo on it. Good thing for them it hasn't been shown on CNN.

    I love your blog, Susie. Live half the year in Oman, and KSA still manages to shock me every time.

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  9. Yes, it is always interesting to try and time excursions to shops, etc. between prayer times. The three things we hated the most in Saudi were gender segregation in general, gender segregation in restaurants, etc., prayer time closures and trying to remember when we could not shop or even worse, get trapped in some store. Even though my in-laws would love for us to move there it will never happen. The three things I mentioned just ripped my husband up.

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  10. I'm trying to imagine walking down the street in Boston, MA and seeing that sign on a sandwich shop or coffee shop door.

    Susie, from reading your blog over the years, it seems as if my day to day life here in Boston is so far removed from the life of a typical Saudi 40ish woman, or even your life now. All of the things I do by myself/places I go... and the places I choose (I choose!) to go with my husband... Saudi Arabia is on a totally different planet than the U.S.

    Must be very frustrating!

    Laura

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  11. My Arabic isn't brilliant but I think the writing above the Subway logo says "with the compliments of head office".

    I'd have thought that this would be grounds for Subway in the US to withdraw their franchise from whoever holds it in Saudi.

    WM

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  12. Security guards will not let single men into eg Red Sea Mall and Mall of Arabia etc..at the weekend either. Perfectly sensible and therefore it's not discrimination is it?

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  13. Time for a changeOct 21, 2011, 5:58:00 AM

    Yes it is dicriminator.

    Susie with the King having another back surgery and his advancing age; is there a concern that the next ruler will be far more conservative? Is there concern that the small gains women have gained will be reversed and even pushed further to the extremes of gender degradation?

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  14. Yes it is discriminatory.

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  15. Yes it is discriminatory.

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  16. Just for the record, and before you start generalizing thing, this is extremely rare, most places such as fast food establishments, women are allowed to enter, I don’t know where this subway restaurant you referring to is located, but I go to subways all the time and I never witnessed such a sign.!!

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  17. There were male only establishments in the US. Signs like this were in the United States prior to the women's liberation movement. Bars like McSorely's in New York was the topic of a lawsuit by feminists who walked into the bar (male only) and were thrown out. There were many bars in the US that were male only. And they displayed signs in the windows.

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  18. Yes, the US limited women's freedom and based alot of that on Christian doctrine and culture well into the 60's and 70's. Even in the 60's women who went to College were expected to quit their jobs and stay home once they got married. I believe that whether they like it or not Saudia Arabia is going to given women more freedom. Simply because they will have no choice as more and more are being educated and exposed to so many possiblities. Let's faced it every young person wants the opportunity to be educated and to realize the extent of their abilities. They will be the ones who will push for reform and educate their children in a manner different from the older generation. Change is inevitable. The old Saudi regime is holding on for dear life in hopes to slow that inevitability. However, that said women fought hard for their rights they have today in the US. They continue to fight for those rights even today as they are still being placed under seige by religious fundalmentalist and the usual all boy's club. The most frustrating part is the wait for those rights when women rightly deserve a better life or a choice.

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  19. well there are many 'women ONLY' signs blocking out men....so its not like women are the only ones that see this

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  20. @ SweetLikeChocolate - This sign is at a Subway Sandwich Shop, which is a global business whose clientele consists of both men and women. The "Women Only" businesses in KSA specifically cater to women only for specifically female needs, like for evening dresses or beauty shops. There is a big difference here.

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  21. @ Andrew - It's not fair that single men are not allowed in malls - I don't agree with this either. The forced gender segregation in this country is extreme and backward.

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  22. @ Time for a Change - Yes, I have concerns about the small gains that have been made in the past few years being reversed when the torch is passed.

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  23. I cannot believe what I'm seeing ! Does Subway know about this, do they condone this ? Can I publish this on my Facebook page to spread the word ? How utterly disgusting...and sad. I know I sound naïve but I had no idea it can get to this level :(

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  24. Zella - I have no idea if Subway Corp. knows anything about this. I would doubt that they would condone it. You are welcome to publish this on FB. There are many restaurants that do not allow women inside if they do not have separate accommodations for families/women; however I have never seen a sign posted like this before, and especially not written using the corporate logo stationary!

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  25. Thank you Susie - I think that the fact that the Subway logo is visible makes it somehow more real to me personally...I see these stores in my city every day, and now my thoughts will inevitably go back to the photo on here. I don't know why this particular picture got me so worked up, but I have now actually sent a message to Subway in the U.S. with a link to your blog. Remains to be seen if they ever get back to me. Love your blog by the way.

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  26. I live in Jeddah, and we don`t have a car, and we like to do our errands during the day. So when me and hubby encounter these, we just ignore. I have been in govt buildings where we needed to get things done, and I was told to wait in the sun or sit in the women`s area, I tell them fat chance. After couple of minutes of arguing, they give in.

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