Saudi women attend football game for the first time

Carla Harmon
January 13, 2018

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

Saudi women made a new history on Friday by attended the Saudi professional League game in Jeddah, an activity that was limited to men for decades.

Photo Female fans of the team Al-Ahli lined up at a separate entrance in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, on Friday.

"Starting the preparation of three stadiums in Riyadh, Jeddah and Damman to be ready to accommodate families from early 2018", the General Sports Authority said on Twitter. In recent months, the kingdom has broken with some of its most rigid rules - lifting a ban on cinemas, announcing that women will be allowed to drive, and allowing genders to mix at a national celebration.

The venue of the match, the Jeddah Pearl Stadium, had allocated special seats for women and families.

In Saudi Arabia, the unemployment rate is very high among women due to their total dependence on male drivers.

It prepared for the historic match by tweeting an image featuring a woman's face painted in gold, the club's colour.

That company has initiated 90-minute training sessions in the Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar in a bid to train women who have already acquired driving licenses overseas. Previous year he pledged to modernise the kingdom and to scale back the power of its ultraconservative clerics, returning Saudi Arabia to what he described as "moderate Islam". It comes four months after the conservative Muslim nation announced it would lift its ban on women drivers.

Welcoming Prince Abdul-Aziz to the Kingdom, Shaikh Rashid said his visit "reinforces strong security ties thanks to the brotherly relations between the two countries under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud".

Careem - which operates in 13 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan - has launched a series of 90-minute-long training sessions in Saudi, targeting Saudi women who have already obtained valid driving licenses from overseas. However to achieve this, he must grow non-oil industries and increase domestic spending, for which he much include female Saudi citizens more and more into public life.

The recent reforms are part of a gradual process of modernisation under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is attempting to make the Kingdom more moderate.

Other reports by iNewsToday