Saudi Arabia has decided to do away with the age-old conservative practice of separate entrances for men and women to enter a restaurant.
The Ministry of Municipality and Rural Affairs of the country tweeted the government’s decision about this development stating that segregation is not mandatory anymore. Many cafes and eateries in the country have slowly and steadily eased such restrictions.
However, this rule is not brought about in the interiors of the restaurant. A spokesperson of the ministry told Reuters that the rule does not specify whether segregated seated areas inside the restaurant will also be eliminated.
Also, there is no compulsion that is specified in the rule which means that some restaurants and other public establishments such as hospitals and schools may still continue to have gender-segregated entrances.
The country has been undergoing a gradual social change accompanied by clampdown of dissent resulting in the arrests of clerics, intellectuals, activists, including women who fought for some of the basic freedoms such as driving.
Recently, the country is also bringing down the guardianship system, where it was compulsory for a woman to get the male relative’s approval to make important decisions.
All these changes have been brought about in the time of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman as a part of his appeasement politics by partly crushing the dissenters on one hand and granting basic freedoms to the women on the other.