NBC

Saudi Women Cheer, Dance at Country's 1st Public Concert by Female Singer

Saudi Arabia is consistently ranked as one of the worst countries for gender equality in the world

Thousands of Saudi women cheered and rose to a standing ovation Wednesday at the country's first public concert by a female singer, NBC News reported.

"This is a very proud moment for Saudi Arabia," the master of ceremonies said while welcoming Lebanese singer Hiba Tawaji to the stage in the capital, Riyadh. "All women should express their appreciation for a fact that a woman for the first time is performing at a concert in Saudi Arabia."

Some women danced to covers of Whitney Houston and Celine Dione, as well as Arab classics. Others even removed their abayas — the loose-fitting, full-length robes local women are required to wear in public — allowing their hair to hang loose.

Saudi Arabia is consistently ranked as one of the worst countries for gender equality in the world. The concert is the latest example of how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms are changing life for Saudis.

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