Saudi Women Lawyers Free to Practice Law

October 7, 2013 | By | Reply More

Oct, 07 – Dubai: When 28-year-old-Saudi female lawyer Bayan Zahran posted on her Twitter page that she was among the first four women to be granted a licence to practise law in Saudi courts, congratulatory notes poured in from people from various segments of the society.

hromedia First female Saudi lawyer stresses on awareness arab uprising2“Some of them were young girls, and this thrilled me,” Bayan told Gulf News in an interview from Jeddah.

“It is good for them to know that there are many fields they can work in when they grow up. Earlier, Saudi women were confined to working in the teaching and medicical fields. Recently, they were allowed to practise nursing, so the reaction was really nice,” added the lawyer who graduated from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah.

It is one of the six Saudi higher institutions that offer law to female students. According to some figures, there are nearly 2,500 Saudi female law graduates. The three other lawyers are Jihan Qurban, Sarra Al Omari, and Amerah Quqani

Although Bayan believes the decision of granting Saudi women licences to practise law in the kingdom’s courts came “a little late”, she thanks God that it came. “It is one of our rights, and thank God we have reached this stage,” she said.

Until the ministry of justice’ decision on Sunday, female Saudi lawyers represented clients as civilian representatives, not as attorneys-at-law, as they were not allowed to practise law in courtrooms. All law school graduates were employed as “legal consultants”, and women were not allowed to operate law firms. But from now on, women lawyers are expected to practise law in the same courtroom as male lawyers and judges.

Commenting on the decision’s impact, Bayan said, “The more women are aware of their rights, the less these rights are violated. It is an equation, and this is not limited to civil status issues, such as divorce and child custody.”

“Saudi women’s issues are not only related to her civil status. She is a worker, a merchant, a property owner, and a businesswoman,” she added.

The decision was welcomed by the many Saudis, said Bayan. Now “the same law that governs the law profession will be applied to both men and women, without any differences,” she said.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat contributed to this report.

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Category: Arab uprising

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