Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.
Title: Women Lawyers and Their Role in Three Islamic Countries: Iran, Kuwait, and Pakistan
Lead Presenter: Savadkouhifar, Zoha
- Metlo, Faiz Ali Sheeraz
Session Abstract: Legal profession has been known for being among one of the most powerful jobs in the history, and therefore, the more all people have had the opportunity to enter into it, the more it could prove that the society is developed and democratic in real sense. However, for women this has been much harder and more difficult to achieve. In the recent decades, women lawyers, like women in other disciplines, have shown great work and the world have witnessed some powerful women, going through many challenges and brought great changes and inspiration to the society. This, surely varies from place to place, as each country has its own laws, system, culture, and values. Some systems allow women to freely exercise their choices while some others put limitations for their own reason. For example, choosing the same religion of Islam, women lawyers have faced different limitations on their participations in countries like Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. In Pakistan as a country where they had the first woman as Prime Minister, women can go as high as to get a judge in Supreme Court, while in Iran or Arabic Countries like Kuwait, women have very few opportunities to become a judge (In Iran, women can mostly become a judge in Prosecution Offices, family courts and few in Appeal Court, and in Kuwait, women cannot enter into this profession at all). On the other hand, women and girls may face some cultural restrictions in Pakistan toward studying and getting to university, while in Iran, almost all girls and women have access to free education up to PHD of law in the best universities of the country, all equal to men, and with less cultural restriction on their study in higher education and post graduations. These differences effect women lawyers in many other ways as well, such as scholarships and professional ethics. In this panel, with the goal to provide participants with the idea that “how participation of women in legal education and legal profession can overall enhance access to justice for all”, we will first go through a summary about the background, system, and culture in three neighbor, Muslim countries: Kuwait, Iran, and Pakistan. Then, we will separately explain current situation of girls and women in the law universities, their status in legal profession, and different roles women lawyers have in these countries, their challenges, and their opportunities. At the end, we will conclude by providing a comparison, and suggest some solutions for: 1) the restrictions and necessary changes in some cultural, legal structure, and syllabuses of law universities (according to the assumption of our research, it is believed that some changes and adding some subjects can enhance the situation to a better outcome), and 2) regional collaboration toward a better understanding of the religion and women in the legal profession (with emphasize on judicial jobs).
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