April 27, 2015

GCC Women Are Also Judges

Kholoud Al Dhaheri

Maha Al Thani

Mona Al Kawari

GCC Women Are Also Judges
Abdullah Al Alami*
April 27, 2015

When Kholoud Al Dhaheri was sworn in as the first UAE female judge in Abu Dhabi last week, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) became the third Gulf state where women were able to reach a leading position in the judiciary.
Al Dhaheri is the first UAE and Arab youngest judge. She is thirty years old and previously handled civil, commercial, legal and criminal cases in court.
Mona Jasem Al Kawari made history in 2006 by becoming Bahrain first female judge. In Qatar, Maha Mansour Al Thani, became first female assistant judge. Kuwait and Oman are getting ready to appoint female judges in the near future, and Saudi Arabia opened the door for female lawyers to practice their profession.
This is clear evidence supporting women empowerment and development in the Gulf States. The appointment of female judges in the GCC countries is a positive step to empower women in leading positions in the judiciary.
This is just the beginning; GCC women are looking forward to occupy leading positions in all executive, legislative and judicial branches on an equal footing with their male counterparts.
As usual, and in almost every occasion where empowerment of women takes place, some insist on voicing their objections. It is argued that the appointment of women in leading judiciary positions "is not religiously permissible by virtue of stewardship, as women can not control their emotions in court."
Others argue that women are not suitable for positions of the judiciary, because Sharia Law does not allow women to take senior judicial positions. Of course, this is neither a logical justification nor credible explanation.

*Saudi writer

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