But in September, hundreds of women were allowed to enter a sports stadium in the capital Riyadh, used mostly for football matches, for the first time to attend celebrations marking the country's national day.
Head of the Saudi Federation for Sports Media, Raja Al-Sulami, detailed the preparations undertaken to ready the stadiums for female fans.
The order comes into effect in five months, and will be a huge change for women - who have had to rely on costly male drivers or male relatives to get to work or visit friends.
These efforts are part of broader reforms he is leading to restructure the Saudi economy away from its dependence on oil, temper the kingdom's religious rhetoric and provide new employment and entertainment options for the kingdom's large youth population, including women. Saudi labor laws now stipulate that women, with a few notable exceptions, should not work in the hours between sunset and sunrise.
It was a historic day at the Jeddah stadium
Which matches can women watch?
Ride hailing applications in Saudi Arabia are preparing to hire Saudi female chauffeurs, months ahead of lifting a ban that prevents women from driving or owning driving licenses in the country, a CNN report said. That will begin to change as soccer arenas in Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh are set to appoint sections for female fans specifically. "The commission's IT department is now building an electronic system for the issuance of tourist visas, coordinating with representatives of the National Information Centre and the Foreign Ministry", Al Mubarak is quoted as saying.
Women were allowed to attend the public event for the first time.
Canada complains to WTO about USA trade duties
He explained, "Even if Canada succeeded on these groundless claims, other countries would primarily benefit, not Canada". "Canada's claims threaten the ability of all countries to defend their workers against unfair trade", he said .
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