Malaysia appoints women judges for Islamic courts for the first time

      For the first time in Malaysia 's history, two women judges were appointed on Thursday. Suraya Ramli, 31, was appointed a sharia judge in the administrative capital of Putrajaya, while Rafidah Abdul Razak, 39, was made a Kuala Lumpur Sharia court judge. Citizens of the country hailed the move as one that would redress gender imbalance in the Sharia judiciary. The Bernama news agency reported that the appointments were cleared by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Islamic courts run in parallel with civil courts in this Malay Muslim-majority country but women say they face much discrimination in Islamic divorce proceedings, inheritance and child custody cases.

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