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Kuwaiti women poised to become judges
October 24, 2018, 5:17 pm
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Kuwait is set to appoint its first-ever female judges in 2019, following years of promises to strengthen the participation of women in the judicial sector. In 2013, and in a much-anticipated breakthrough, the justice ministry accepted applications from women for the position of prosecutors. The 22 successful applicants were sworn-in as public prosecutors in 2014, following months of delay amid staunch opposition by conservative lawmakers.

The move paved the way for Kuwaiti women to be appointed as judges for the first time because public prosecutors are promoted to eventually become judges. According to sources cited by Kuwaiti daily Al Jarida on Wednesday, the decision to appoint women as judges in 2019 is based on their professional promotion after they spent five years as prosecutors.

Although the constitution gives Kuwait women full political, social and economic rights, they still face an uphill struggle to break through conservative moulds. Women were granted the right to vote and run in elections, but they were able to enter parliament only in 2009 after winning four of the 50 seats in the parliamentary elections.

However, the picture is getting brighter in the judicial sector with the planned appointment of judges next year and the announcement that the High Judicial Council has agreed to accept more applications from young women in November to become prosecutors, the sources said.

It will be the third time in the country’s history that the Council accepts applications from women. The last time was in June when 24 young women were accepted. Successful candidates will be initially appointed as legal researchers for one year before they become prosecutors. Women in some Arab and Islamic countries have faced difficulties in penetrating the judicial field, mainly for social reasons and because of religious beliefs.

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