External Affairs

Saudi Arabia to Let Women Enter Sports Stadiums for the First Time in 2018

Saudi Arabia women attend a rally to celebrate the 87th annual National Day of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 23, 2017. Credit; Reuters

Saudi Arabia women attend a rally to celebrate the 87th annual National Day of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 23, 2017. Credit; Reuters

Dubai: Saudi Arabia will for the first time allow women to attend sports events in three selected stadiums from early next year, the General Sports Authority said in a statement.

The stadiums in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh are being prepared to accommodate families in early 2018, said the statement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency late on Sunday.

Women walk in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 10, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Women walk in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 10, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Last month Saudi Arabia announced that, from June, women would be allowed to drive cars, ending the world’s only ban on female driving.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform program aims to open up Saudis’ cloistered lifestyles, shaped in part by a strict, conservative version of Sunni Islam that limits the role of women, and diversify the economy away from oil.

(Reuters)