While many of us take our basic rights for granted, women in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the world, live a life of great subjugation.
But things are finally looking up, thanks to a change in policy in Saudi Arabia. After allowing women to drive and reopening cinemas for them last year, 2018 brought in more good news for the Saudi women. According to reports, for the first time on Friday, women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to enter a sports stadium to watch a professional men’s football match.
Until now, in the country ranked 141 out of 144 on gender parity by the World Economic Forum, women have been forced to watch the beautiful game only on television. The kingdom has long barred women from sports arenas in the guise of the rules which keep sexes apart in public.
The 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been easing decade old restrictions on women since he came to power in July.
Women supporters, all wearing the traditional black abaya robe, arrived well ahead of kick-off in the Jeddah stadium, some in sunglasses and others with loose-fitting veils.
Noura Bakharji, a Jeddah resident told AFP,
I always watched games on TV while my brothers went to the stadiums… I asked myself repeatedly ‘Why I can’t go?” “Today, things have changed. It’s a day of happiness and joy.
Reportedly, in a country where less than 13% of women participate in sport activities, the decision is a commendable step. People all across the world have hailed the decision.
This is a critically progressive move towards a brighter sociopolitical future.— simple truth (@mysticgaya) January 12, 2018
It’s great to see progressive moments succeeding where they are needed. Women in the Middle East are fighting and being fought for. ALL people deserve this. #2018goals— Brandon Brickey (@brickey_brandon) January 12, 2018
It is more than just an incremental step towards securing equal rights for women. It is a giant leap in efforts to gain gender parity.