Women as judges

Women as judges

Samar Al-Mogren
Samar Al-Mogren

Samar Al-MogrenBy Samar Al-Mogren

THE courts have started employing women in several jobs. After allowing female lawyers to practice in the Saudi courts, the door is now open to employ female law graduates as notaries public and in other posts related to the legal profession.

These are glad tidings that give us the right to demand for more, especially as the courts do not concern men only. They are for both genders.

The number of women who visit the Kingdom’s courts could be more than men. This is not based on studies or statistics, but on personal judgment, taking into consideration the kind of cases and the number of women in the Kingdom’s population.

Employing women in all court departments is an urgent necessity if we look at some of the procedures followed by female litigants visiting courts for various transactions.

Female employees in courts will better cater to women’s needs in courts, and treat women litigants better. This will also reduce the problems that women sometimes face when a man has to deal with their problems.

But it is not sufficient for women to be in courts only to serve these purposes. I am repeating today old demands that I wrote in previous articles on the importance of appointing women as judges. Women deserve more than men to be appointed as judges in the family courts, initially.

They are closer to these issues emotionally and in terms of their innate character. I am sure that many of the problems women face in our courts, including at times feeling they are being oppressed, will decrease or disappear if women appear before female judges.

Female judges will better appreciate their motherhood and innate character in custody cases. Women feel they have been wronged in divorce cases with painful scenarios. On viewing the experiences of other countries in enabling women to function as judges in courts, we find many successful examples in a number of Arab and Muslim countries.

Away from these countries, I recall when I once visited the Cardiff Court, Britain, and met several female judges and had the chance to attend some of the court sessions.

In one of the court sessions, a young woman was on trial for bashing her male colleague. The case was heard by a male judge. I was sitting next to the girl’s mother and aunt. So I asked the mother why a female judge was not assigned to hear the case.

She replied: “a male judge is more merciful.” This reply brought to my mind the opinion of those who see that women are unfit for such posts, as they are “emotional”.

This is despite the fact that throughout history, women have proved that they deserve to be in posts with even bigger responsibilities than that of a judge.

Furthermore, they have proved that their decision-making and actions are based on accurate thinking. In other words, they use their minds more. And their emotions form only a minor part of this process.

Of course I am not talking about all women, but about those who deserve to be in such a post. I am also not talking about all men because there are among them those who are more tenderhearted than women.

Therefore, emotions are a relative matter not concerned with gender as much as it is concerned with the characteristics that distinguish one person from another.

From the time of Bilqis, Queen of Sheba, until the era of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Hillary Clinton coming closer to the US Presidency, women in major posts requiring important decision-making have never failed to measure up to expectations.