Sports Abaya : An Influential Shift in Saudi Standards

Saudi Arabia Reforms
Last updated on September 5th, 2018

Saudi Arabia, a country that mostly seems bewildering to the rest of the world, has been introducing various significant changes in Saudi Arabia Reforms, under the rule of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. A monarchy, the country follows a feudal system based on religion, tradition, and class status, which comes with conflicting, overlapping, and unclear legal standards.

Saudi Arabia is experiencing a monumental shift in several areas of the set standards including, a lift of a decades-long ban on cinemas, giving driving rights to the women and a project of multi-billion dollar entertainment city.

Amongst all these modifications, giving rights to the Saudi Arabian women is the most significant and influential measure taken so far.

  • A longstanding ban on women driving has been lifted.
  • They can start their own businesses without permission from guardian.
  • They were recently allowed to watch sports live.
  • They can now jog and do physical exercise in the streets.

Another significant reform and a symbol of cultural mutiny in conservative Saudi, is a new sports-friendly version of the abaya gown. The trend was initiated by the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where certain female athletes were running in the garb.

As Saudi women are obligated to wear a typically all-black, body-shrouding garment in public, the sports abaya set off several debates on sartorial freedoms for women. Several cultural purists called it a breach of tradition. However, the Crown Prince commented that an abaya in any form, is not mandatory in Islam.

For Saudi Arabia, a country with feudal and traditional standards, these Saudi Arabia Reforms have put an end to numerous difficulties that women in the country were facing earlier.

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