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In a first, Saudi Arabia to allow women into sports stadiums from 2018

Last month authorities allowed hundreds of women to throng a sports stadium in Riyadh

AFP | PTI  |  Riyadh 

In a first Saudis Arabia to allow women into sports stadiums from 2018

will allow women into three stadiums for the first time from next year, authorities said, in a landmark move that would open up the previously male-only venues to families.

The kingdom, which has some of the world's tightest restrictions on women, has long barred women from arenas by strict rules on segregation of the sexes in public.

The announcement on Sunday is in line with powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious reform drive shaking up the ultra-conservative kingdom, including the decision to allow women to drive from next June.

"Starting the preparation of three stadiums in Riyadh, and to be ready to accommodate families from early 2018," the General Authority said on

Last month authorities allowed hundreds of women to throng a sports stadium in Riyadh, used mostly for football matches, for the first time to mark Saudi Arabia's national day.

Under the country's guardianship system, a male family member — normally the father, husband or brother — must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and other activities.

But the kingdom appears to be relaxing some norms as part of its "Vision 2030" plan for economic and social reforms, which aims to boost female employment.

In July, rights campaigners welcomed an "overdue" reform by the education ministry to allow girls to take part in sports at state schools.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 30 2017. 09:39 IST
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