In a historic movement for Malaysia, two women have been appointed as Shariah court judges in the Muslim majority state, with Premier Najib Razak saying that Islam does not limit females to advance.
This showed that women in the country enjoyed equal treatment as men, he said. "Even in Islam, the religion does not limit women to advance. Their status is protected."
He was commenting on the appointment of Suraya Ramli, 31, and Rafidah Abdul Razak, 39, who were made Federal Territory of Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur Shariah Court judges, respectively, in mid-May.
On Saturday, Najib, in his speech read by Dr Abdullah Md Zin, the religious adviser to the Prime Minister, was qouted saying that the appointments were made to enhance justice in cases involving families and womens' rights and to meet current needs.
To a question on whether there were plans to increase the number of women Shariah judges in other states, Najib said it would be up to the state authorities as the matter was under the state Islamic councils' jurisdiction.