Saudi women enter stadiums for first time

Letting women into sports stadiums is one of a series of gender reforms occurring in Saudi Arabia

Letting women into sports stadiums is one of a series of gender reforms occurring in Saudi Arabia

Stadiums will also have separate cafes and prayer rooms for women.

"This event proves that we are heading for a prosperous future".

Powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have championed lifting the ban as he is seeking to open up the country and revamp its worldwide image. Women will now be allowed to attend the matches, but will have to sit in segregated areas away from men, and must wear loose-fitting, full-length robes known as 'abayas, ' as well as a headscarf, if they are Muslim.

Ruwayda Ali Qassem, another Jeddah resident, said it was a "historic day in the kingdom which culminates (in) ongoing fundamental changes".

"I am proud and extremely happy for this development and for the kingdom's moves to catch up with civilised measures adopted by many countries".

Live from Saudi Arabia's sports pride, The Shining Jewel stadium, over 4,000 fans coming in with their families packed the arena, sources told Asharq Al Awsat. It prepared for the historic match by tweeting an image featuring a woman's face painted in gold, the club's color.

Saudi Arabia, which was the only nation around the globe to prohibit female drivers, previous year also permitted women to drive in the nation. "With you, the scene is complete".

The easing of the strict gender segregation was announced in October 2017 which also, for the first time, allowed women to drive.

The Saudi General Sports Authority made a statement that it is ready to make all the compulsory preparations to generate an attractive sports ambiance for families and to make sure their privacy. This is more than women's rights: today's match between Al-Ahli and Al-Batin, and the ones to follow, are opportunities for families to come together and enjoy KSA's national sport - soccer!

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