Industry: Culture and society
Designation: The Palestinian Authority’s first Shari’a court judge
Kholoud Faqih made history in 2009 as one of the first women to be appointed as an Islamic judge in Palestine.
The Islamic courts were perhaps the last men-only bastion in the country and the move may well be replicated by other Middle Eastern nations. Faqih won two degrees from the University of Jerusalem, and received her licence in 2001. Between 2003 and 2008, she gained extensive litigation experience, primarily from working for an agency that defends battered women. Faqih beat out dozens of men in the Islamic law exams to secure the post. “I compare us to other Arab Muslim women, and I think we’ve done well,” Faqih told MSNBC in 2009.