Monday, 29 January 2018

The female face of Islamic law in Malaysia

Good to see Malaysia leading the way. More women need in all leadership and decision making roles. 
Judge Nenney is hopeful that the rising number of female judges will help change the perception that Syariah courts do no treat women fairly.
"The public perception said male judges must be biased to women. I hope after this, to the women who come before me, they must know there's no difference between a male judge or a female judge. The judge just does their job."
On the other side of the bench, more women are also working as Syariah lawyers.
The number of women registered with the Syariah Lawyers Association, a voluntary membership group, has increased by more than 200 in the last five years, and they now make up more than 40 percent of the group's members.
Sa'adiah Binti Din was working as a lawyer in the secular courts when she first volunteered to do Syariah legal aid work 18 years ago.
She says she realised then that many Muslim women appearing in the Syariah courts were unrepresented, so she began taking on more divorce cases.
"That was my turning point," says Sa'adiah. "Now, I'm in the Syariah Court almost every day."
She says her female clients often find it less difficult to appear before a female judge and court officials.
"I believe now they find it easier to talk to a woman," she says.
At Malaysian universities, Islamic law courses are increasingly dominated by young women.

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