Saudi Arabia Takes Another Big Step Toward Gender Equality

By David G. McAfee

It may seem like a minor change, but it’s actually a big step on Saudi Arabia’s road to gender equality. The country, known for restricting women’s rights in the name of religion, is finally allowing women to attending sporting events in stadiums.

The move comes a month after King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued an order allowing women in the country to drive, ending a longstanding policy that epitomized gender discrimination in the Middle East for years. Now they’re allowing women to attend sporting events in stadiums for the first time, according to the Washington Post.

Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority made the announcement Sunday, tweeting that preparations will begin to “accommodate families” in three stadiums in the major cities of Riyadh, Jiddah and Dammam. Two of the stadiums, the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh and the King Abdullah Sports City in Jiddah, hold the highest seating capacity in the kingdom.

“Sports stadiums in Saudi Arabia to open their doors to welcome women in 2018,” Princess Reema Bandar bint Al-Saud, the vice president for women’s affairs of the General Sports Authority, wrote on Twitter.

The change is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “vision for 2030.″ 

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