Saudi Arabia Gets Its First Women-Only Car Showroom

14 January, 2018, 00:44 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Letting women into sports stadiums is one of a series of gender reforms occurring in Saudi Arabia

The first football match women are being allowed to attend is a clash between Saudi Premier League clubs Al-Ahli and Al-Batin in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

In September, Saudi King Salman bin Abdelaziz announced that women would be allowed to drive starting from June, a move that ended a long ban. "Ittihad fans, male and female, are the support of this club, and success is not complete without them coming together to serve this historic entity", the club tweeted.

The female spectators, segregated in the "family section" of the stands, stood and cheered when local players scored goals. Women will also attend a game today in the national stadium in the capital, Riyadh, as well as a game on Thursday in the city of Dammam. The women however had to enter through designated turnstiles for women and families.

At least 1,200 tickets have been bought by women and families for Friday's game, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported, citing a sales official.

"A lot of people wanted to wait and see how it is".

"I am very proud to be a witness of this massive change".

Swick, who grew up in Maryland and has been living in Saudi Arabia for the past nine years, has attended football games in the US and soccer matches in France, but said she was impressed with how organized Friday night's match was.

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Some used the hashtag to share photos of female spectators wearing their team's colors in scarves thrown over their abayas.

Apply for passports Travel overseas Get married Open a bank account Start certain businesses Get elective surgery Leave prison 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.

Despite the breakthrough, there are still a host of basic human rights denied to women without the permission of a man, including applying for a passport, travelling overseas, and getting married.

The country's large, new stadiums were built with hundreds of millions of dollars when oil prices were almost double what they are now.

Over the years, though, there have been some exceptions for foreign women.

The decision to allow women to attend a mixed public sporting event is one of many changes the country has undergone in recent months, hailed as proof of a new progressive trend in the deeply conservative Muslim Kingdom, Reuters said in a report.

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