Saudi Women Allowed Inside Sports Stadiums In Small Advance For Women’s Rights

Source: Huffington Post

By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Saudi Arabia has announced plans to allow women to enter sports stadiums starting next year, in the latest incremental advance for women’s rights in the conservative Muslim country.

Starting in 2018, women will be allowed to attend sporting events at three major stadiums in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, the Saudi General Sports Authority announced. However, female spectators will likely be relegated to a “family” section that’s separate from male-only seating areas, The Associated Press reports.

Women were allowed to enter the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh for the first time last month, for a one-off event celebrating the anniversary of the country’s founding, reports Reuters. They entered the stadium through a separate gate.

“It is the first time I have come to the stadium and I feel like more of a Saudi citizen,” 25-year-old Sultana, who did not provide her last name, told Reuters at the event. “God willing, tomorrow women will be permitted bigger and better things like driving and travel.”

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