Change for good: Saudi women enters sports stadium for the first time

Riyadh: First time in history of Saudi Arabia, women will be allowed to enter a sports stadium to watch a soccer match between two local teams. Red Sea city of Jiddah became the first stadium to open its door for Women.

On Saturday, the national stadium in the capital, Riyadh, will open its gates for women to attend a soccer game.

As per the information they were segregated from the male-only crowd with designated seating in the so-called “family section.”

The move is Saudi Arabia’s first social reform planned for this year giving women greater rights.

To prepare for the change, the kingdom has designated “family sections” in the stands for women. The stadiums have also been fitted with female restrooms and separate entrances and parking lots for female spectators.

In October 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had vowed to focus on eradicating extremism within his kingdom and a return to “moderate Islam”. He said the country was “not like this in the past”. “We will eradicate the remnants of extremism very soon,” he had said. “We represent the moderate teachings and principles of Islam.”

Ever since, he has been easing restrictions on Saudi women. In September 2017, it was announced that women will be allowed to drive from June 2018 for the first time in the kingdom. In December, the kingdom had said that the ban on movie theatres will be lifted in 2018.