On 11 of January, 2016, seven new Sharia Court judges were appointed by the committee for appointing Sharia Court judges, which sits under the authority of the Ministry of Justice. All seven newly appointed judges are men, despite the fact that the Working Group for Equality in Personal Status Issues has issued a statement supporting the appointment of female judges.
We at Kayan Feminist Organization stress our position in support of adequate women’s representation in all fields, employment positions, and decision-making positions, including appointing women as judges. The Working Group for Equality in Personal Status Issues, of which Kayan is a part, has been working tirelessly to promote this most important issue.
We at Kayan believe not only that women should be in these positions, but that the women in these positions should bring with them a feminist perspective and strive to change the current patriarchal system, and create spaces free of discrimination against women, specifically in the judicial system, which will lead to positive effects on women and in accessing justice, as well as positive effects on our Arab-Palestinian society in general.
We at Kayan have our reservations and criticism of the current judicial system in regards to personal status issues. For example, we fear that even if a woman judge were to be appointed in the Sharia court, it would not bring about genuine change in the system.