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Malaysian groups welcome first Islamic women judges
BBC: The Sisters in Islam (SIS feminist group welcomed the decision by the Malaysian government to appoint two new women judges to the Islamic courts. SIS has campaigned for years for inclusion of women in the court system, which it argues does not administer and implement Islamic law fairly and properly in cases involving women.
The decision by the Malaysian government to appoint women judges to its Islamic courts has been welcomed by Muslim feminist groups. The Sisters in Islam (SIS) group based in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, told the BBC it had been pressing for this for many years. The group has long campaigned for reform of the Islamic legal system. It argues that Islam does provide legal protection for women, but that it is not always administered and implemented properly and fairly.
The government announced the two new judges as Suraya Ramli, 31, in the Federal Territory of Putrajaya court and Rafidah Abdul Razak, 39, in Kuala Lumpur. "The appointments were made to enhance justice in cases involving families and women's rights and to meet current needs," said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Malaysia runs two parallel legal systems - the civil courts for its non-Muslim citizens and the Islamic system.The civil judiciary has long had female judges, covering a range of major cases.The Islamic legal system focuses on family law, frequently tackling issues such as divorce, polygamy and custody battles.