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The game between Saudi football teams Al-Ahli and Al-Batin, two clubs from Jeddah, marks the first time in Saudi Arabian history that women will be in attendance.

Saudi Arabia has also announced that starting in June, women will be allowed to drive, lifting the world’s only ban on female drivers. These moves are part of Saudi Arabia’s social reforms planned for this year granting women greater rights.

Stadiums have designated “family sections” in the stands for women, separated by barriers from the male crowd. They have also been fitted with female prayer areas, restrooms and smoking areas, as well as separate entrances and parking lots for the female audience. 

The national stadium in the capital, Riyadh, will open to women a day later, on Saturday, followed by the western city of Dammam the following week.

 

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