Calls to boycott Starbucks have been made by various feminist groups after a sign reading “Please no entry for ladies only send your driver to order. Thank you” was spotted on one of its shop windows in Saudi Arabia.
Twitter user Manar N posted the following:
Osez Le Féminisme, a French NGO used its Facebook page to call for a boycott of Starbucks, and the post has been shared over 23,000 times.
The post reads:
Since women do not have access to the cafés in Saudi Arabia, I have decided to stop going there myself. The sexism spoiled the coffee.
Segregation of men and women is entrenched in Saudi law, and Human Rights Watch claims the country practises “systematic discrimination against women.”
Members of feminist group LesefFRONTEé-e-s went so far as to picket a Paris Starbucks, carrying signs that likened the alleged incident to Nazi Germany’s discriminatory treatment of Jews.
Various newspapers in France, including Le Monde, as well as news websites Marie Claire and Marianne covered the story, placing increasingly more blame on Starbucks.
Jaime Riley, a spokesperson for Starbucks released a statement to NBC, in which she said the Starbucks in Riyadh was built without a gender wall, a requirement for public spaces under Saudi law:
A poster was placed at the store entrance as required by local law.
We are pleased to share that the store is now accessible to single men on one side as well as women and families on the other side. Starbucks has now 78 stores in Saudi Arabia and all stores cater to both families and singles, except for one that is exclusively reserved for women and families.
It looks like French feminists are gearing up for a second wave of opposition, with Osez Le Fémenisme continuing with a "girlcott" of Starbucks.