100 Women: The woman who decides if men can take a second wife

Source: BBC News

  • Nenney ShushaidahImage copyrightJOSHUA PAUL FOR THE BBC

Islamic law, also known as Sharia, is often associated by critics with harsh punishments and hardline attitudes. But one of Malaysia’s first female Sharia high court judges says her role gives her an opportunity to protect women in the Muslim-majority nation.

Judge Nenney Shushaidah presides over five trials a day and can hear up to 80 cases a week.

Malaysia practises a moderate form of Islam but conservative attitudes have been on the rise and the use of Sharia is growing as well. Under a dual-track legal system, thousands of Muslims use it to settle moral and family matters. Non-Muslims are required to follow secular laws that deal with the same matters.

She passes judgment on everything from financial cases to those involving the Sharia concept of Khalwat [unmarried Muslim couples being caught in compromising situations].

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