Kuwait, women judges

For the first time, Kuwait appoints women judges in its history

Kuwait swore in eight female judges on Sep 3, marking a first for the Arab Gulf state, after a long legal battle to allow women to serve in the role.

They were among 54 people appointed as judges to the Supreme Court, reported the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), according to the Arab Weekly.

The female judges’ work will be evaluated after a period of time, said Yousef al-Matawa, chairman of Kuwait’s Supreme Judicial Council and the Court of Cassation, quoted by KUNA.

Matawa did not specify how long that period of time would be.

While Kuwaiti society is reputed to be one of the most open-minded in the Arab Gulf region, with women in top government positions, some traditional families impose tight restrictions on their female relatives’ movements.

Lulwa Saleh Al-Mulla, head of the Kuwaiti Women’s Cultural and Social Society, said her organisation had long fought for the right of women to serve as judges.

“These appointments are heartwarming, and we believe that we are taking steps forward towards the ranks of advanced countries,” she said.

Women in Kuwait were granted the right to vote and run for political office in 2005.

Four years later, the first female lawmakers were elected.

In August this year, Kuwait passed its first law designed to specifically target domestic violence.

The legislation, drafted by the Women and Family Committee, “sets the minimum standard and legal protection procedures for victims of domestic violence in a way that maintains the family unity without threatening its stability in the society.”


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