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British broadcaster Sky News covers ‘unprecedented changes’ in Saudi Arabia

Women were allowed to attend football matches in Saudi Arabia for the first time in January. (AFP)
LONDON: Sky News has run a report on the “unprecedented changes” underway in Saudi Arabia, visiting a football match and speaking with women about ongoing reforms in the country.

The British news broadcaster’s diplomatic editor Dominic Waghorn visited KSA recently with a news crew, as one of the “first foreign news media to film one major change being implemented: Women being allowed to go to football matches.”

The Sky News journalist spoke to secondary school teacher “Nora” at a football match, with Waghorn asking what it meant to her to attend games. Nora told him: “It means that I am human.”

Waghorn also spoke with Madeha Al-Ajroush, a campaigner for women being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Ongoing reforms will see women permitted to drive from June this year.

Al-Ajroush told Sky News that when she is legally able to drive she will have “mixed emotions.”

“I will be ecstatic, I will be happy. I will be sad for all the years that passed in my life that I wasn’t able to do such (a) basic elementary step of mobility.

“At 18 women usually automatically get behind the wheel and drive and do their errands. I had to wait until I was 63.”

Waghorn reports that the liberal reforms are part of Vision 2030, the program of social and economic reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Part of the program aims to give people more freedoms and entertainment, changes that include the reopening of cinemas and permitting concerts.