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Saudis to Allow Female Lawyers in Court

New law will allow them to argue family-related cases
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2010 9:43 AM CST
Saudis to Allow Female Lawyers in Court
A Saudi woman is seen outside a mosque in the Saudi capital Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

(Newser) – Saudi Arabia is planning to issue a law “in the coming days” that will allow women lawyers to argue family-related cases in court, according to the country’s justice minister. Previously, female lawyers could only operate behind the scenes in court offices and government offices; now they’ll be able to work in the open on matters including divorce and child custody, the BBC explains.

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The law will also allow women to complete various procedures with notaries without the presence of another male witness. The law is yet another baby step by the country to ease its repressive male guardianship system, which separates women from men they're not related to, and requires male permission for everything from travel to employment. Another recent reform, for example, allowed women to stay in hotel rooms by themselves. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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