Saudi women may soon appear as lawyers

Oct. 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Women may soon be allowed to appear in court in Saudi Arabia representing other women, a women's rights activist says.

The country has about 2,000 female lawyers but they cannot represent their clients in court, which limits their professional advancement, Gulf News reported.

Local media reports said about 300 women would be licensed to make court appearances if the government decides to open the courts to them.

Hatoun al-Fassi, a university teacher and women's rights activist, said the move to allow women in courts is overdue.

"Every day, I see it closer than the day earlier," she told Gulf News. "At every stage, the ceiling of expectations becomes higher."

Saudi Arabia has ended some restrictions against women recently. This year, for the first time, there were women representing the country in the Summer Olympics, and women are expected to vote in upcoming municipal elections.

Women still face restrictions on travel, cannot get drivers' licenses and are barred from appearing in public with men under most circumstances.

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