Saudi women allowed entry to stadium

Muslim women

Saudi women attend sports event for first time

But these rules have begun to change under King Salman, who became the Saudi monarch in 2015, and are driven by his son, Mohammed bin Salman, 32, the country's crown prince.

In the stadium, keeping in mind the women spectators, a "family entrance" was created.

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. Stadiums will also have separate cafes and prayer rooms for women.

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

On Saturday, the national stadium in the capital, Riyadh, will open its gates for women to attend a soccer game. On Friday, Al-Ahli trounced Al-Batin 5-0 in the Premier League match, according to the Saudi Gazette. They were seated in the special "family section", with their male relatives, but segregated from the all-male crowd.

At least 1,200 tickets have been bought by women and families for Friday's game, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported, citing a sales official.

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Despite the breakthrough, there are still a host of basic human rights denied to women without the permission of a man, including applying for a passport, travelling overseas, and getting married.

The prince will inherit a country in which more than half the population is under the age of 25 and yearning for progressive change, which will soon include allowing women into movie theaters and encouraging them to work in the Saudi labor market. It is the first time that Saudi female citizens and families attended sporting events in the stadium.

The country's large, new stadiums were built with hundreds of millions of dollars when oil prices were almost double what they are now.

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