Saudi Arabia ends gender-segregated entrances in restaurants

Saudi Arabia ends gender-segregated entrances in restaurants

Women will no longer have to be segregated from men in restaurants in Saudi Arabia, the country's government has said.

Previously, it was mandatory to have one entrance for families and women, and another for men on their own.

Restaurants and cafes in Saudi Arabia were segregated by "family" sections allocated for women who are out on their own or who are accompanied by male relatives, and "singles" sections for just men. In smaller restaurants or cafes with no space for segregation, women were not allowed in.

Two years ago, women for the first time were allowed to attend sports events in stadiums in the so-called "family" sections. Young girls in recent years have also been allowed access to physical education and sports in school, a right that only boys had been afforded, the Evening Standard reported.

In August, the kingdom lifted a controversial ban on travel by allowing all citizens – women and men alike – to apply for a passport and travel freely, ending a long-standing guardianship policy that had controlled women’s freedom of movement.