Single Women Banned From Saudi Arabia Restaurants

| by Vanessa Righeimer

Single women in Saudi Arabia will have to find another place to eat due to a number of restaurants banning them from entering. The restaurants believe these women exhibit "mentally unstable" behavior which includes flirting, smoking and using cell phones. Some have even posted signs banning all women which simply read, “women not allowed.”

While there is no law banning women from traveling alone in Saudi Arabia, strict religious beliefs state that single women should be accompanied by a male family member at all times when out in public.

One restaurant owner explained the reasoning behind the single women ban, telling the Arabic newspaper Al Hayat: "We put up these signs because we have seen numerous incidents of flirting taking place inside the restaurant."

The ban is not only unfair, but illegal as well. The head of Saudi Arabia's National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) group, Khalid Al Fakhri, is demanding that the signs be removed immediately. 

"These signs are against the law and reflect the personal opinions of the restaurant owners," Al Fakhri said.

Not everyone agrees that the restaurants are out of line and one male blogger who supports the bans posted on the web, "The best thing is to keep women away from restaurants unless they have a male custodian...That way the restaurant is not shut down because of the misbehavior of an adolescent or mentally unstable woman."

This is only one example of the oppression many Saudi Arabian women have to face. Women will finally be allowed to vote and run for office in local elections next year, but still will not be allowed to drive.

Sources: The Week / Image Credit: Wikipedia