In a first, Saudi women free to visit sports stadiums starting Friday

Times Now News   

9 January, 2018 14:09 PM

In a first, Saudi women free to visit sports stadiums starting Friday

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It is a huge moment for women in Saudi Arabia as they will now be allowed to enter sports stadiums to watch football matches for the first time on Friday, as per a government announcement on Monday.

"The first match that women will be allowed to watch will be Al Ahli versus Al Batin on January 12," the Ministry of Information said.

The government also elucidated that the women would be able to attend the second match on next day and a third on January 18, as reported by a national Saudi newspaper.

The gradual step towards increasing women empowerment in the country is believed to be a radical change, considering the strict guidelines that existed for women in the nation.

The Saudi government announced in October last year that women in 2018 will be allowed to attend sporting matches in national stadiums, from which they were previously banned.

Three previously male-only venues -- King Fahd International Stadium, King Abdullah Sports City and Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium -- will be opened to women and families.

Easing restrictions on women, including the lifting of a driving ban, which is set to go into effect in June, is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 to overhaul the country's oil-dependent economy and shed the Kingdom's ultra-conservative image.