Women in Saudi Arabia attend football matches for first time

Analysis How Al Ittihad managed to prevent Al Hilal win in Saudi Clasico

Analysis How Al Ittihad managed to prevent Al Hilal win in Saudi Clasico

The initiative to allow women into stadiums is part of the government's Vision 2030 program, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and aimed at giving more freedom to women.

However, the women had to sit in a "family section" of the stadium so that they would be separated from the male spectators.

Tough measures against high profile individuals are one of many steps Saudi Arabia has taken to initiate solid economic and social reforms, such as allowing women to drive. But some people used the hash tag to criticize the event, writing that the place of women is in their homes, focusing on their children and preserving their faith, and not at a stadium where male crowds may curse and get rowdy.

The move to open up stadiums to women for the first time was announced last October.

Guptill, bowlers take New Zealand to 2-0 lead
With Pakistan on the ropes, Shadab Khan and Hasan stepped up, cracking 21 off an Astle over as they upped the tempo. Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmed will be looking towards the senior players to take responsibility and lift the team.

The stadium in the capital, Riyadh, will open to women on Saturday, followed by the western city of Dammam on Thursday.

A Saudi private company on Thursday opened the first vehicle showroom for women only just five months before a decision allowing females to drive takes effect.

Females were in attendance at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah to witness Al-Ahli defeat Al-Batin 5-0. Still in place, however, are guardianship laws that prevent women from traveling overseas, obtaining a passport or marrying without a male relative's consent. "When you give women the chance to share attending game with men, this first of all reinforces allowing women to participate in matches, and secondly gives support to the team and the players, so that everyone, the whole community, shares the games with them", said Faisal bin Sibhan, an attendee. "Some thought it wouldn't be very safe or organised", said Swick, who attended the game with her Saudi husband and son, and her American mother.

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