Saudi women may get jobs in judiciary


The minister was speaking at a function organized by the National Committee for Lawyers here.

Office jobs in the judiciary can be as managers, supervisors, courtroom clerks, IT technicians and specialists, research librarians, etc.

So far no woman has been appointed as a judge in Saudi Arabia and Saudi scholars have said that women should not be burdened with such a job.

Al-Issa, in an interview with the Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat last week, was asked about the chances of a woman becoming a judge in Saudi Arabia, whether this was “possible or impossible.”

The minister replied: “The answer goes beyond possibility or impossibility; we all know that some countries that do not follow Islamic Shariah do not have female judges even today. In many countries there are only a few female judges in comparison to male judges, for well known reasons. It’s not due to any fault in women and does not reduce their importance. Only a short while ago we decided on the possibility of women becoming lawyers, which is an important profession, and takes into account scientific and mental potential, and other skills.”

Elaborating on “well-known reasons,” he said: “I mean the natural condition of women, and the family role that a woman plays that men are unable to fulfil. I am talking about the clear physiological differences between a man and a woman. This is why some countries that are not governed by Shariah law do not have any reservations with regard to their reluctance to allow women to become judges.”

Bahrain is the only Gulf country to allow women to become judges, and the UAE is reportedly considering such a move.

Saudi Arabia is in the early stages of implementing judicial reforms, starting with developing the infrastructure.

Al-Issa said Tuesday that the Ministry would float tenders for the construction of a series of specialist courts in the major cities – including labor, commercial and personal statute courts – in addition to housing complexes.

“The ministry has 2,000 vacant posts which will be filled by highly trained experts in the judiciary,” he said.

Al-Issa also said that the ministry is in the process of issuing a new regulation governing the selection of judges by the Higher Judiciary Council.

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