In a first, women in Saudi Arabia attend a soccer match
13 January, 2018, 07:38
The so-called "family sections" were created to keep women separated from the male-only crowds, while the stadium was also fitted with female prayer areas and restrooms.
Female football fans wearing scarves and waving flags took their seats at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah for Al-Ahli's match against Al-Batin in the Saudi Pro League.
The order released the earlier in male-only spots of King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, and Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam to hold families.
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.
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Saudi Arabia, which was the only country in the world to forbid female drivers, a year ago also allowed women to drive in the country. He made that clear last September by allowing women to attend a Riyadh-based stadium last September to celebrate the country's national day.
The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious project to modernise the Saudi society and boost its economy.
"Today the percentage of those who participate in exercise and sports is only 13 percent", said Hayfaa al-Sabban, who heads a sport organisation.
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