22 January 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 01/09/2018, 09.41


    Soccer stadiums to open to women in historic first

    Stadiums will open their doors to women in the capital on 12 January, for a match between Al-Ahli and Al-Batin. Following Riyadh, on  January 13 in Jeddah and January 18 in Dammam. A massive presence of women is expected at the events. Saudi Princess: work is underway to welcome entire families. Despite the timid reforms, the gender gap remains wide.

    Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) - For the first time in the history of the Sunni ultraconservative kingdom, on January 12 women will be able to cross the stadium gates to watch football matches,  Riyadh authorities announced in a statement released by the Ministry of Information, which adds that "the first match open to women will be Al-Ahli against Al-Batin".

    The Saudi authorities also point out that women, together with their families, will also be able to watch a second match live the next day and a third match on 18 January.

    Among the first Saudi female personality to comment on the decision is Princess Reema Bandar Bint Al Saud, responsible for women of the National Sports Authority. On her twitter profile she expressed her satisfaction, underlining that "the sports facilities in Saudi Arabia will open their doors in 2018 to welcome women". Preparations are under way, she adds, to ensure that the stadiums are able to accommodate entire families.

    According to the preliminary information, there will a massive presence of members of the fair sex at the games, just to exploit this new opportunity of greater freedom. The first game will be played in the capital, Riyadh, the second one in Jeddah on the Red Sea and the third in the eastern town of Dammam.

    In Saudi Arabia, women are relegated to the margins of society and only in recent years have they acquired active and passive voting rights in municipal elections; a first turning point followed by a broader "modernization" plan promoted by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the context of the "Vision 2030" program.

    On 23 September, for the first time, the capital’s stadium was also open to women for the national day celebrations. A few days later came the abolition of the driving ban. Previously, the appointment of the first woman to the stock exchange.

    However, there are still severe limitations to female freedoms: Saudis must cover their hair and body in public, and they cannot travel or receive medical treatment without the permission of a male guardian (usually a father, husband or a son).

    International rankings confirm that the gap between the two sexes is still wide: Saudi Arabia was ranked 141th out of 144 nations for gender equality in the 2016 Global Gender Gap report, compiled by the experts of the World Economic Forum.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version


    See also

    27/09/2017 10:13:00 SAUDI ARABIA
    Riyadh lifts ban on women driving

    The new law will come into force on June 24th. The ban is the symbol of female repression in the kingdom. The women caught driving were arrested and punished with 10 lashes. The joy of activists and critics of ultra-conservatives. Riyadh aims to promote female access to work, limited by the difficulty of moving.

    Saudi princess wants equal rights for women

    26/01/2007 SAUDI ARABIA
    Riyadh should “stop religious persecution of Ahmadis”
    In an open letter to the king of Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch calls for an end to the wave of arrests, detentions and deportations against the Ahmadi community, which is considered heretical by Islamic extremists.

    25/09/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
    First Saudi university to allow men and women together
    The new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology opens in a town not far from Jeddah. According to the university’s charter, Saudi Arabia’s religious police will not be allowed to operate on its premises but women will be allowed to drive. By next year, 817 students from 61 countries should be enrolled.

    15/03/2008 SAUDI ARABIA
    Saudi feminism, a hotel for women only
    The Luthan hotel in the north of Riyadh will open next week, and will try to put an end to the problems of Saudi women who travel and work in the country, and who always need special authorisation to reserve a room in 'mixed' hotels.

    Editor's choices

    Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

    Fady Noun

    A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.

    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison

    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®