It's been six months since Saudi Arabia allowed women to drive, and now women have been getting used to the thrill of watching a football match from the stands.

Female supporters of Saudi's Al-Hilal attend their team's football match against Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on January 13, 2018. Saudi Arabia allowed women to enter a football stadium for the first time to watch a match on January 12, as the ultra-conservative kingdom eases strict decades-old rules separating the sexes.
Female supporters of Saudi's Al-Hilal attend their team's football match against Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on January 13, 2018. Saudi Arabia allowed women to enter a football stadium for the first time to watch a match on January 12, as the ultra-conservative kingdom eases strict decades-old rules separating the sexes. (Getty Images)

Saudi women were allowed for the first time into a football stadium to watch a match between two local teams in January this year, as Saudi Arabia has begun to ease restrictions on women, spearheaded by the Kingdom's 32-year-old crown prince.

Last week, women fans filed into a stadium in the city of Riyadh, through family gates into family seating, marking again a significant moment for the kingdom.

"It means that I am human," secondary school teacher Nora told Sky News at a Riyadh derby game.

"No other one prevents me from doing what I want. No other one decides what I want. I am the one who decides," Nora said surrounded by women waving flags and cheering at the section of the stadium reserved for families.  

The kingdom has also announced that starting in June women will be allowed to drive, lifting the world's only ban on female drivers as part of a move to modernise Saudi Arabia. 

But as TRT World's Adefemi Akinsanya reports, there is still a long way to go.

Madeha al Ajroush has campaigned for years for women to have the right to drive.

She has been jailed in the past for driving her car in protest and defying the kingdom's ban on female drivers, Sky News reported.

Al Ajroush said she would be "ecstatic" when a ban on women driving is lifted, but it will be tainted with sadness.

"At 18 women usually automatically get behind the wheel and drive and do their errands," Al Ajroush said sitting in her car.

"I had to wait until I was 63 and that saddens me. It took a lot from my life," she said.

Despite decades of ultraconservative dogma, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sought to ram through a number of major social reforms with support from his father, King Salman.

In addition to lifting a ban on women driving next year, the crown prince is behind measures such as bringing back concerts and other forms of entertainment to satiate the desires of the country's majority young population.

The 32-year-old heir to the throne's social push is part of his so-called Vision 2030, a blueprint for the country that aims to boost local spending and create jobs amid sustained lower oil prices.

Ahmed A Khatib, Head of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority said the kingdom in 1970s and 1980s used to have "more fun than 5, 6, 7 years ago."

He said Saudi Arabia has "a vision."

"We know exactly what needs to be done," Khatib said.

Source: AP