Saudi Arabia is slowly moving toward letting women be sports fans.
The kingdom has decided to let women enter sports stadiums for the first time ever, Reuters reports. Three stadiums in Saudi Arabia are preparing special sections for women and families, which will open some time early next year in what is being hailed as another step toward opening the country’s public spaces to women. Last month, Saudi Arabia announced that women would be able to drive, ending the world’s only ban on female drivers.
While women will now be allowed in certain stadiums in the kingdom, there’s still no word on whether female athletes will be able to compete in those same stadiums. Women are barred from participating in state-organized sports leagues or national tournaments in Saudi Arabia, but the kingdom did send four female athletes to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, despite the fact that they weren’t able to compete in their own country. This gives some athletes and fans hope that women might soon be able to compete as well as watch.ML