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US News Saudi Arabia lifts ban on gender segregation in restaurants

08:40  09 december  2019
08:40  09 december  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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Saudi Arabia will no longer require restaurants to have separate entrances segregated by sex, the government says. The restrictions had already been quietly eased in practice, with many restaurants , cafes and other meeting places no longer enforcing segregation .

This August, a further ban was lifted to allow women to apply for a passport and travel without first obtaining the permission of their male guardian. Despite the rules being relaxed in a number of institutions and practices, gender segregation still remains in Saudi Arabia . Women and men are

a group of people standing in front of a store: Women will no longer be required to use a separate entrance to men at restaurants © Getty Women will no longer be required to use a separate entrance to men at restaurants

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

The announcement from the Saudi ministry of municipalities and rural affairs comes as the latest reform to ease the strict social rules that have been in effect across the kingdom for decades.

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It cited a desire to attract investments and greater business opportunities as a reason for the decision, in a statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

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Saudi Arabia has abolished rules requiring restaurants to provide separate entrances and seating areas for women and families and for male patrons 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

Restaurants in Saudi Arabia will no longer need to maintain entrances segregated by sex, the authorities said on Sunday, further eroding some of the world's strictest social rules as sweeping reforms take hold.

Until now, women in Saudi Arabia have been required to use separate entrances and sit behind partitions when dining out to prevent them being visible to single men.

They were forbidden entry to any restaurant or cafe that was too small to uphold this mandatory segregation.

Beautiful arab woman in hijab and burka drinking coffee in cafe Beautiful arab woman in hijab and burka drinking coffee in cafe

This is part of what the conservative Muslim country has traditionally viewed as a requirement in line with religion, although other Muslim-majority countries do not have similar restrictions.

For decades, it has been strictly prohibited for unrelated men and women to mix in public, with women also being required to ask permission from their legal guardian - usually a male family member or husband - on important life decisions.

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Restaurants in Saudi Arabia will no longer need to maintain entrances segregated by sex, the authorities Segregation has quietly eased over the past year or so, as eateries, cafes, conference centres and concert Saudi Arabia , one of the world's most gender - segregated nations, has also

RIYADH: Restaurants and cafes in Saudi Arabia will no longer be required to have separate areas for families and bachelors, the Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs said Sunday. Eateries in the Kingdom have until now had to provide two entrances: one for women and families and another for

But Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has looked to relax these rules by ordering a number of reforms and reducing the powers of the kingdom's religious police.

a cat sitting on top of a car: The ban against Saudi women driving was lifted last year © Getty The ban against Saudi women driving was lifted last year

In 2017, women were allowed entry into sports stadiums in family designated sections, while a year later they were also given the right to drive.

This August, a further ban was lifted to allow women to apply for a passport and travel without first obtaining the permission of their male guardian.

Despite the rules being relaxed in a number of institutions and practices, gender segregation still remains in Saudi Arabia.

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Ayah, a wearer of the niqab weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen: Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 1, 2018.

Women and men are still kept separate at weddings, and most government-run schools and public universities.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has recently been accused of 'sportswashing' by hosting the Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr boxing world heavyweight fight, and allegedly trying to improve its reputation as the country has a poor record on human rights.

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