Saudi Arabia: Women to be allowed in sports stadiums 2018 onwards

First Published 30, Oct 2017, 11:53 AM IST
Saudi Arabia Women to be allowed in sports stadiums 2018 onwards
Highlights
  • Women in Saudi Arabia have minimal rights, which always require them to take the permission of the male members in the family.
  • As part of its Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is relaxing a few norms that restricted women from attending public functions and visiting sports stadiums.
  • In fact, last month itself, the authorities let thousands of women to throng a sports stadium in Riyadh to mark Saudi Arabia's national day.

As part of its Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is relaxing a few norms that restricted women from attending public functions and visiting sports stadiums. The kingdom will now allow women into three sports stadiums from the next year. Incidentally, these were the male-only venues to families. Previously, the women were not allowed to these venues because of the kingdom's rules of segregation of the sexes in public.

According to a report by the New Indian Express, the announcement yesterday was made in light of the fact Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wishes to shake up the ultra conservative norms imposed on women. He started the drive by allowing women to drive or get a driving license without the permission of their guardians who happen to be the male members of their families. 

Meanwhile, the General Sports Authority on Twitter said, "Starting the preparation of three stadiums in Riyadh, Jeddah and Damman to be ready to accommodate families from early 2018."

In fact, last month itself, the authorities let thousands of women to throng a sports stadium in Riyadh to mark Saudi Arabia's national day. This is considered to be the first time such a thing had happened in the kingdom. Incidentally, under the country's guardianship system, a male family member- a father, husband or brother- should grant permission to a woman to study, travel or indulge in other activities.

However, off late, with the Prince's vision of boosting female employment, the rules have been relaxed and implemented. Recently, a debate had brewed up surrounding the rights of women in Saudi Arabia after a female robot Sophia made her first public appearance. Activists and reformists had then argued that the robot had more rights than that of the women of Saudi Arabia since she was allowed to put forth her opinions and was allowed in a public place without a veil. 

[Read: Android Robot Sophia Brews Up A Storm Surrounding Women's Rights In Saudi Arabia, Here's Why]

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