Saudi Arabia is introducing new laws allowing women to work in the legal profession on an equal footing to their male peers. From early next month female lawyers will be able to secure licenses to practise law from the Ministry of Justice. They will be permitted to enter the courtroom and argue cases directly, have their own offices and, for the first time, represent male clients.
It is a hugely important step along the long and bumpy road Saudi Arabia must travel if it is to achieve anything like gender equality. In theory, female lawyers will enjoy exactly the same professional rights as their male counterparts. In practice, however, it might not be so straightforward.