A Jordanian judge has just made history by becoming the first female Supreme Court judge in the country, according to The Jordanian Times.
Zuhdi Barakat, who previously held a position at the Amman Court of Appeal, was promoted by the Jordanian Judicial Council earlier this month - making her the highest ranking official in the judiciary.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t Barakat’s first foray into ground-breaking territory as she was also the first woman to be appointed as Amman’s attorney general and to chair the West Amman Court.
She has also held positions as a judicial inspector and as the president of the Arab Women’s Legal Network, a non-governmental and non-profit organisation that supports Arab women working in the legal profession.
Founded in 2005, the network encourages Arab women across the region to consider a career in law and facilitates networking, training and development opportunities for existing professionals.
Barakat's achievements are even more impressive when taking into account the huge barriers women in the Arab world face when entering the legal field.
In Jordan, only 18 percent of judiciary are women and only 15 percent of women participate in the formal economy due to widespread discrimination.
Barakat hasn’t held back in discussing the difficulties she’s faced in her career telling The Sisterhood Is Global Institute (SIGI) last year that she still felt it was necessary to perform her traditional role as wife and mother despite being a successful legal professional.
“I did not get to these sites easily, especially as I was married and have responsibilities towards my family,” she explained. “I remember that on some days I slept for only a few hours, so I did not feel that I did not perform the tasks that were most needed.”
However, she never viewed her family as an obstacle during her career, as it was her very own parents who inspired her to reach her potential.
“My mother, may God have mercy on her, was a distinguished teacher,” she said. “She and my father, Abu-Atallah, cooperated [for] a lifetime.”
Barakat appears to have passed down her ambitious nature to her children, as her eldest daughter is currently studying Law in London. She may be the first female Supreme Court judge in Jordan but she hopefully won’t be the last.