Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recently claimed that “civility and human rights” were under attack and that he wants to hire 10,000 refugees. But what about doing his part to fight for human rights in Saudi Arabia? We don’t hear him speaking out against their misogynistic customs, which Starbucks happily follows…
In Saudi Arabia, for example, Starbucks adheres to the practice of gender segregation. In it’s Saudi locations, Starbucks erects “gender walls” to keep women and men from co-mingling in their coffee shops. Some might say that Starbucks’ decision to comply with such rules perpetuates the second-class citizenship of Saudi women.
Early in 2016, one such wall collapsed, reportedly forcing the coffee chain to temporarily ban women from its store in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
One woman reported the ban on Twitter, posting pictures of a sign on the store’s front door which read in English and Arabic “please no entry for ladies only send your driver to order.”
— Manar N (@manarn8) February 1, 2016
A Starbucks spokeswoman told The UK Independent:
“Starbucks in Saudi Arabia adheres to the local customs by providing separate entrances for families as well as single people.
“All our stores provide equal amenities, service, menu and seating to men, women and families.
“We are working as quickly as possible as we refurbish our Jarir store, so that we may again welcome all customers in accordance with local customs.”
They adhere to local customs…even if those customs do not uphold basic human rights.