Saudi Arabia has for the first time allowed women to spectate at a football match, part of an easing of strict rules on gender separation by the ultra-conservative Muslim country.
Earlier on Friday, ahead of the football game, there was another small sign of change: the country’s first car showroom dedicated to female customers was opened.
For the first time, women will this June be allowed to get behind the wheel, after it was announced in September that a ban on women drivers would be lifted.
A hashtag, translated as “the people welcome the entry of women into stadiums”, was used tens of thousands of times in two hours as the match took place..
At the stadium in Jeddah, female ushers were employed to greet the women fans and their families, who loudly cheered on the local team. Both ushers and fans wore the traditional black abaya robe.
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