Courting women in the Gulf monarchies: State power, gender and judging


  • Rania Maktabi Østfold University College



Gulf monarchies, Gulf women, female lawyers, women judges, public prosecutors, court


The article highlights the appointment of women as adjudicators in court in the Gulf monarchies between 2005–2020. The main question addressed is: What are the driving forces behind the inclusion of women in the judiciary in these overtly conservative societies? Two circumstances are explored: First, the rise in the number of female lawyers along with the appointment of professional women in law as deputy public prosecutors. This question responds to how Gulf women have entered positions of judicial litigation and decision-making. Secondly, the inclusion of women as adjudicators in court. This part addresses questions related to why Gulf women have obtained positions as prosecutors and judges in courts. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia provide case studies in addition to a general review of women’s access to judgeship in the six Gulf monarchies.


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Author Biography

Rania Maktabi, Østfold University College

Associate professor in political science at Østfold University College, Norway. Email address:


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How to Cite

Maktabi, R. (2023) “Courting women in the Gulf monarchies: State power, gender and judging”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 13(3), pp. 1049–1084. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1185.