Saudi Arabia women score right to watch men's football in stadiums

Share

Women in Saudi Arabia have made history, as they entered a stadium to watch a football match for the first time.

To prepare them for this new-found freedom, the first women's vehicle showroom has opened in the city of Jeddah on Thursday.

Saudi private company on Thursday opened the first auto showroom for women only just five months before a decision allowing females to drive takes effect.

However, according to reports, the women were segregated in the stands from the male-only crowd with designated seating in the so-called "family section" at King Abdullah Sports City stadium.

The stadiums have also been fitted with female restrooms and separate entrances and parking lots for female spectators. "I am very proud to be a witness of this massive change", she said. One female was arrested for attending a game in Saudi Arabia back in December 2014.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seen as the driving force behind the reforms. All three stadiums were previously male-only, CNN reported.

The new measure comes amid a series of social reforms by Riyadh, which include lifting a ban prohibiting women from driving and re-opening cinemas.

A hashtag, translated as "the people welcome the entry of women into stadiums", was used tens of thousands of times in two hours as the match took place.

Ahead of the game on Friday, clubs took to Twitter to encourage women to attend, with some even offering the traditional abaya robe in team colours.

Share