46% Women Among 17,000 Saudis Registered to Become Conciliators
The Saudi Ministry of Justice recently announced that as many as 17,000 people had applied to register as conciliators at the Reconciliation Center under the ministry. Around 7,800 of those registered at the time were women, accounting for 46 percent of the total applicants. This comes after the Ministry of Justice, represented by the Conciliation Center, has allowed men and women to register as conciliators. It allowed individuals of both genders or from the profit and non-profit sectors to register as conciliators. They can practise conciliation out of courts or within the courtrooms. The conciliation minutes they issue will become executive documents once electronic approval was accorded by the Conciliation Center at the ministry.
Recently, Saudi women have taken up leading positions of late in public as well as private sectors. There has been a tremendous response from young Saudi women to take up jobs at the Ministry of Justice. There are 220 women working at the ministry after they were allowed to work in this vital sector in 2018 and creation of a separate department for women at the ministry last October. As many as 57 women got license to undertake attestation services, issuance and cancellation of power of attorney and other notary services. There has been a 240 percent increase in the number of licensed women lawyers. There are 418 female lawyers, in addition to 3,140 trainee lawyers.
Recently, Saudi minister of justice and president of the Supreme Judicial Council, Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani, ordered the appointment of a woman, Shorooq bint Mohammed Al-Jadaan as deputy director-general for alimony affairs. She is the first woman to assume a leading position at the alimony fund. The fund aims to ensure alimony is paid to beneficiaries as quickly as possible, and help achieve a financial balance for families.
The Saudi Ministry of Justice has implemented a number of initiatives in the past few years to increase the number of female employees and improve their representation in promoted positions. In late 2017, it started to provide special sections for women in courts around the country and appoint female notaries. Previously it was rare for women to work in courts. Women can now work as social researchers and administrative assistants. More women are also working in the ministry’s digital transformation project, and in related fields such as computer science, software engineering and information systems. In addition, there has been a huge increase in the number of registered female lawyers, from only 10 in 2013 to 487 by November last year.