Starbucks red holiday cups.
(photo credit: STARBUCKS)
A French feminist organization has called for a boycott of Starbucks over a sign typed in both Arabic and English on the door of a branch of the cafe in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that informed customers that women were banned from the store and would not be served, according to reports by the Independent.
"Please no entry for ladies only send your [male] driver to order," read the green sign taped to the door of the international coffee chain store in Riyadh.
A group called Osez Le Feminisme, a French NGO, posted last week on their Facebook page which has nearly 80,000 followers, calling for a "Girlcott" of all Starbucks branches.
The post, written in French, read, "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."
The post has been shared over 23,000 times.
The feminist activist group picketed outside a Starbucks branch in Paris singing an anti-discrimination anthem while carrying signs which likened the segregation of women in the Saudi branch of Starbucks to the Nazi Germany discriminatory treatment of Jews during the Holocaust and the apartheid in South Africa.
Saudi Arabia's religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, banned female patrons from the coffee shop after it found during an inspection that a gender partition wall inside the store had collapsed.
The manager of the branch explained that the wall collapsed regularly due to customer stampedes.
A spokeswoman for the Starbucks franchise explained that the company adheres to local customs and was working to refurbish the store to meet the needs of the region.