IS it a surprise that November 2012, the month when Saudi women lawyers were supposed to be issued licenses to practice in court, has come and is almost gone with no action at all?
Punctuality, action and progress, especially where women are concerned, all in one go? Oh yes, too much to expect. Such cups surely “spilleth over”, over and over and over — before we ever get a first sip.
We’re soon to complete two months since the news of Saudi women lawyers being issued licenses to practice in our courts circulated in world media.
When the news spread, fireworks lit up the social media-sphere and applause filled the air in — premature — celebration.
Asking around, the responses have been cynical describing the news as “just words”, “a morphine dosage” or that it was “probably retracted or regretted”.
At the time, of course, no relevant details were included: The exact when, the where and how to. It was mentioned somewhere that the only condition was that the woman lawyer must have three years’ experience working in a law firm. A piece of cake it is (not) because it is (not) absolutely unquestionably easy for young women law graduates to land internships at local law firms, let alone jobs. Right.
Surprise, surprise. Oh yes, women pleading cases in our courts on behalf of their clients is (not) and will (not) be doable because countless women clients are already (not) there in our courts with their faces and voices, (not) uncovered and (not) un-gagged (!!)
For the record, out of all the universities available for women in the Kingdom, only one, King Saud University, has a women’s law department born a mere few years ago.
With everything clear and concretized, let us for a minute draw upon creativity and logic, and imagine for a moment that Saudi women were in our courts now as fully fledged, licensed and practicing lawyers. What would be the agenda, a to-do list if you want, of issues these lawyers would need to initially address in our courts? (Oh, November 2012 mourn the glory that was allegedly yours!)
Do not worry I am not asking that we touch upon the entire tip of the iceberg. No, just a tip of the tip.
Were sense common, surely our licensed women lawyers would initially see to it that a Saudi woman is enabled:
Oh, I concur, the list is outrageous! (Not) too much for a tip of the tip? Certainly, it is in this day and age plainly outrageous (not) for its mere length, of course.
At the end and in summation, there are two words that say it all:
Oh, and the status of Saudi women lawyers?
It is another case piled up on top of countless others: Still pending.
— The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org