Monday, February 27, 2006

Saudi Women



Hard to believe this is an issue in 2006.


JEDDAH, Arab News: Women are disproportionately affected by identity theft in the Kingdom’s court system due to the lack of adequate identification systems, Asharq Al-Awsat reported. Compounding this problem is the disregard of ladies services in the legal system as a whole, says one would-be female lawyer. “I joined Islamic studies at university because I wanted to work in law,” said Areej Abdul Hay. “Specialized study is not open for women but I finished my Islamic studies and I do not see any problem in us joining the court system to help women.” Areej, who hopes one day to be a lawyer, says that while as many as half of all cases affect and involve women, there is a lack of legal services for them, services that are in particular demand due to the propensity for women to be unaware of court procedures. The lack of attention to women in the court system also creates other civic problems. In one reported case, a woman posing as another woman was married without having to prove her identity. Since the courts do not request proof of identity for women, the marriage was certified based only on proof of the groom’s identity. The fraud was revealed later only after the victim of identity theft discovered that she was robbed of her father’s inheritance when the other woman claimed it without having to prove her identity. Mamdouh Salem, a court employee, supports the idea of opening of a female branch in the court system, but pointed out that it would not solve the problem of identity theft. “I support the idea of opening a female branch in all government departments. I do agree that the biggest problem in court is confirming female identity. I do not think that by opening the female section, all problems would be solved. What will solve the fake identity problem is the female identification card. If it were compulsory then the problem would be solved because court clerks could ask for proof of identification. But I am sure that most women will reject this idea,” said Salem. Saudi Arabia recently began offering women the option of having their own identification cards separate from the traditional family IDs. However, many women choose not to have the card because it requires them to provide a full-facial photograph. Abdullah Al-Othaim, a judge, concedes there are cases of fake identity. “It is possible that people are faking other people’s identity,” said Othaim. “What we can do is try to limit it as much as possible. Banks are depending more on female signatures than their pictures. We do the same but if we see that it is important to confirm the female identity, we do that.” Opening the court system to women, says Areej, would also help the Kingdom achieve the stated goals of employing more women. However, judge Othaim said that he is against the idea of opening a women’s branch in the court system because it would lead to unnecessary duplication of state expenses.

Muslimah Drivers License

article source: http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=10558

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