Saudi Arabia Opens First Female Law Firm, Intended To Protect Women’s Rights

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Women’s rights are important and the more we raise our voices about injustice toward females around the world the more things can change.

One woman, Bayan Mahmoud Al-Zahran from Saudi Arabia, is doing just that and changing things drastically for women in her country.

She is the first Saudi woman lawyer who was issued license to practice law in the Kingdom, and has now launched the first female law firm for the benefit of Saudi women on Wednesday January 1st, 2014. This will be a major game-changer for the plight of women who are oppressed under a male-dominated society.

Al-Zahran told Arab News that the objective of her law firm is to fight for the rights of Saudi women and bring their problems before the court, since male lawyers in many cases couldn’t understand the problems and situations of a female plaintiff. She will also dedicate her time to women’s issues, naturally.

“I believe women lawyers can contribute a lot to the legal system. This law firm will make a difference in the history of court cases and female disputes in the Kingdom. I am very hopeful and thank everyone who supported me in taking this historical step,” she said.

History is indeed being made, and the problem of women unable to find female lawyers to defend them in a court case will soon be a thing of the past as Bayan’s law firm will employ more and more women. Issues such as inheritance, domestic violence, and marriage will now have a decidedly more balanced view in the Saudi courts.

“This is a very positive step toward the Saudi court and justices as right now, we are four female lawyers who got the license, but I am hopeful that in future, the number will increase,” Bayan added.

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Al-Zahran’s father Sheikh Mahmoud Al-Zahran said this is the first step toward the protection of the women’s rights in the Kingdom. “We are very proud of our daughter who stands firm for protection of women’s rights. This will help all women who couldn’t go and speak to male lawyers about their problems,” he said.

Bayan, the daughter of a Saudi businessman, wants Saudi citizens to know that her law firm will also represent men in cases, but that their focus is on women as they have been grossly under represented and unable to find the support they need in the past.

The Saudi Courts have emphasized that Shariah law has to be practiced even in this new revolutionary law firm, and that the women from Bayan’s firm should follow the restrictions of the court for hijab since Islam while giving rights to women, also has ethics in place for women while presenting themselves before a judge.

What’s cool about this step in the right direction toward gender equality is that only a few months ago were women in Saudi Arabia granted the right to serve as attorney’s in the court system! Way to go Saudi law makers. You are making this country a better and more progressive place for women to live and (more importantly) thrive. A lot of this was made possible from the highest level in Saudi Arabia.

Under King Abdullah women have received permission to stay at hotels alone, girls have been allowed to ride bicycles, and 30 women parliament members were appointed for the first time ever a year ago. Women’s rights will soon be something we celebrate, rather than just fight for.

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