In a bid to steer the country towards a more gender-inclusive route, Saudi Arabia has decided to allow women into sports stadiums for the first time ever, starting in 2018. The authorities confirmed on Sunday (Oct 29) that from next year onwards, three male-only venues will open their doors to families too.
The country, known to deny women rights, appears to be working to eliminate gender inequality. Recently, Saudi Arabia launched its first ever Girls’ Council. Also, the authorities have finally allowed women to drive cars.
OFFICIAL: Saudi Arabia will allow women to enter football stadiums and watch games from January 2018. pic.twitter.com/evlQdpjfNr
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) October 29, 2017
Looks like a promising step for women, the General Sports Authority said on Twitter:
“Starting the preparation of three stadiums in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam to be ready to accommodate families from early 2018”
— Arab News (@arabnews) October 29, 2017
Since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been chaired, his ambitions to bring fundamental rights and to provide more opportunities for women are being praised worldwide. The first landmark decision was to allow women to drive from next June.
Women’s rights are still a controversial factor here. We all are aware what a conservative kingdom Saudi is. It bars women from sports and has strict rules on segregation of the sexes in public
The authority is highly concerned about the safety measures as well. Most likely, restaurants, cafes and video screens are to be set up inside the stadiums too.
Last month, on Saudi Arabia’s national day, one of Riyadh’s sports stadiums marked historic movement when hundreds of women walked in for football matches
This was the first time women were allowed to attend sporting events inside stadiums alongside men.
The country has rules that only under guardianship of a male family member, women must be granted permission to study, travel and other activities. But now it seems the kingdom is working hard to make the “Vision 2030” plan for economic and social reforms successful. The country is most likely to lift a public ban on cinemas too.
When the country consistently ranks low on gender rights and where women’s independence is considered as a secondary topic, with this new rule, we certainly are hopeful that it is one step closer to breaking the chain and heading towards maintaining a gender-neutral lifestyle.
Feature Image Credit: The Times of Israel
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