Qatar appoints first woman judge

10:28, March 12, 2010      

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Qatar on Thursday appointed the first woman judge in the country's history, a day after the gas- rich Gulf Arab emirate declared considering nominating women in its judicial system.

Sheikha Maha Mansour Salman Jassem Al-Thani, designated as legal assistant in the courts, took the oath before the president of the Supreme Judicial Council, the Qatar News Agency said in a brief report.

She is a member of the country's ruling royal Al-Thani family.

No other details are available about the appointment, which came as a landmark event for women in Qatar and other Gulf Arab states at large.

Fahad al-Mohamedi, deputy director of the Legal Affairs Department at the National Human Rights Committee said Wednesday the move was part of the commitment of the country's leadership to uplift the roles of women.

Qatar is the world's largest LNG (liquified natural gas) exporter and its economy outperformed other countries in the Gulf region last year.

In 2008, the country's emir appointed two women ministers in a major cabinet reshuffle.

Women in the six Gulf Arab states including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have seen their rights in limited improvement in recent years.

In 2009, four female lawmakers were elected to the Kuwaiti parliament, four years after the emirate's women were entitled the right to vote and run for office.

However, women in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil- exporter, are still banned from driving.

Source: Xinhua
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