Updated Wednesday, August 11, 2010 3:20 pm TWN, By Julia Zappei, AP
Malaysia 1st women Islamic judges get equal powers
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysia's first women Islamic court judges are starting to hear cases this month after Shariah legal authorities empowered them with the same authority as their male colleagues, an official said Wednesday.
The two female judges were appointed in May to combat perceptions that Islamic courts unfairly favor men. But one senior judge said Shariah law provisions in this Muslim-majority country barred them from presiding over cases involving divorce and matters involving morality crimes, such as drinking and gambling.