Women-only motorshow begins in Saudi Arabia

Female Saudi supporters of Al Ahli attend their teams football match against Al Batin in the Saudi Pro League at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah
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15 January, 2018

Al Ahli take on Al Batin in the Saudi Pro League, which will be the first game that a woman can watch from inside the King Abdullah Sports City stadium.

In November 2017, the Jeddah Women's Championship organized the first women's basketball tournament in Saudi Arabia, which was held in Al Jawhara Stadium. "Those duties include transporting female students and teachers who do not wish to drive their own vehicles, and filling other vocational opportunities that require the presence of a woman trained to drive in a qualified and secure way", Al-Mutairi said.

The Islamic kingdom has announced a series of reforms initiated by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since past year.

The apps are a lifeline to women with no independent way to get around the Kingdom.

Some clubs are offering special abayas - traditional head-to-toe robes for Saudi women - in their teams' colours.

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Last September, the 81-year-old head of state King Salman signed a decree giving women the right to drive, ending the nation's position as the only country in the world to ban female drivers.

Saudi Arabia is infamous for its rules against women. The government's General Sports Authority said this week that three stadiums had so far been modified to accommodate women through the addition of private sections for women and their male relatives, female bathrooms and even prayer areas.

Women will also attend a game on Saturday in the national stadium in the capital, Riyadh, as well as a game on Thursday in the city of Dammam. It prepared for the historic match by tweeting an image featuring a woman's face painted in gold, the club's colour.

"I think what the Crown Prince is doing and leading right now, it's maybe the most important thing in Saudi modern history, it's a reverse of the Islamic revolution in 1979 in Iran and instead of taking us 100 years ago, he's taking us 100 years ahead".

Women were allowed to attend the public event for the first time.


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