Saudi Arabia to allow women to attend stadium sporting events

Saudi Arabia to allow women to attend stadium sporting events

Saudi Princess Reema Bandar bint Al-Saud, vice president for women’s affairs of the General Sports Authority [official website, in Arabic], tweeted [twitter feed] Sunday that the country will begin to allow women to attend sporting events in 2018.

The kingdom’s sports authority announced [press release, in Arabic] that stadiums in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam will be prepared to admit “families” at the beginning of next year, though the details of how the change will be carried out remain elusive.

The country has strict guardianship laws [JURIST op-ed] regarding women, arising from cultural and religious beliefs associated with Sharia Law, that have shown signs of weakening recently. The announcement comes a month after a royal decree [JURIST report] was made allowing women the right to obtain a driver’s license in the kingdom come June 2018. Both of these developments arise from a number of reforms advocated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the heir apparent to the Saudi throne, and set forth in his “Vision for 2030” [official website] plan to modernize the kingdom’s social and economic foundations.