Female lawyer in a suit taking notes.

June 21, 2022Litigating Women’s Rights in Arab Gulf Monarchial Systems

Our Associate Director Salma Waheedi examines the dynamics of litigating women’s rights in Arab Gulf monarchical systems.

The latest article by Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World Associate Director Salma Waheedi in the Arab Law Quarterly, entitled “Litigating Women’s Rights in Gulf Monarchial Systems: The Kuwait and Bahrain Constitutional Courts as Case Studies,” examines the dynamics of litigating women’s rights in Arab Gulf monarchical systems.

The article is an inquiry into the ability of the constitutional judiciaries in Gulf monarchies to act to protect women’s rights and the conditions that enable such autonomous exercise of judicial powers. Looking specifically at Kuwait and Bahrain, the empirical findings of this article demonstrate that one must look beyond constitutional or legal text in conducting this analysis., as subtle contextual political differences can lead to divergent outcomes when it comes to the practical exercise of constitutional judicial power.

In the article, Waheedi analyzes the institutional structures and jurisprudence of the two constitutional courts in order to better understand the conditions under which they operate and the divergence that may explain differences in outcomes. As part of this examination, the article considers challenges of institutional and personal independence that impact the independent administration of justice by the constitutional judiciary, and then moves to analyze major constitutional cases that illustrate the approaches of these courts to women’s rights cases, and the approaches of advocates to use litigation as a tool to claim rights.

Click here for the article abstract and online access options.