In historic move, eight women appointed judges in Kuwait

 

The eight women judges taking the oath

The eight women judges taking the oath

By Habib Toumi

KUWAIT: In a breakthrough for further empowerment of Kuwaiti women, eight women have been appointed as judges.

During a historic ceremony, the eight women were sworn in as the first female judges in Kuwait, taking the legal oath of office before the Chairman of Kuwait’s Supreme Judicial Council and the Cassation Court and President of the Constitutional Court Yousif Al Mutawa.

Al Mutawa stressed the role of the new women judges in making the initiative a success.

The judge who wrote a new chapter in the empowerment of Kuwaiti women were Fatima Al Sagheer, Fatima Al Kandari, Sanabel Al Houti, Fatima Al Farhan, Bashaer Shah, Bashaer Al Rakdan, Rawaat Al Tabtabae and Lulwa Al Ghanim.

Although the constitution gives Kuwait women political, social and economic rights, they have faced an uphill struggle to break through conservative molds.

For the first time in Kuwait’s history, 28 women contested in the June 2006 Parliamentary elections, but without success.

However, women were able to enter parliament in 2009 after winning four of the 50 seats in the elections.

Several women have been appointed ministers in various cabinets, mainly with education, development, finance and economy portfolios.

Bahrain appointed the first judge in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in June 2006.

The first woman judge in the Arab world was appointed by Tunisia in 1968.

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