Saudi Shoura Council urges appointment of women to pronounce fatwas

The request comes as the kingdom seeks to make women a larger part of the workforce

Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council has urged authorities to appoint qualified women scholars to pronounce Islamic law rulings known as fatwas.

The request was made to the General Presidency for Scholarly Research on Monday after reviewing a report from the committee for Islamic and judicial affairs.

Council session chair President Sheikh Abdullah Al-Asheikh directed authorities to make the necessary resources available to make the request a reality.

The request comes as the kingdom embarks on reforms designed to make women a larger part of the workforce.

The government aims to increase the number of women as a proportion of the workforce from 23 per cent to 28 per cent by 2020 and to quadruple the number of women in senior civil service roles to 5 per cent.

One means it is adopting to achieve this is restricting roles in certain professions to Saudi women, including as store clerks in shops selling female-specific items.

Read: Saudi female workforce in retail climbs to 200,000 ahead of ban on foreigners

The council also urged the presidency to appoint muftis in all the kingdom’s regions and provide the necessary fund to develop a library of the presidency.