The first female law firm in Saudi Arabia launched last week, founded by the first Saudi female lawyer Bayan Mahmoud Al-Zahran. Saudi Arabia issued law licenses to Al-Zahran and three other female lawyers in October 2013, the first time the country issued such licenses to female law graduates.

Al-Zahran told Arab News that her law firm’s objective will be to fight for Saudi women’s rights and to get women’s cases heard in court. “I believe women lawyers can contribute a lot to the legal system,” she said. “This law firm will make a difference in the history of court cases and female disputes in the Kingdom.”

The launch of Al-Zahran’s law firm is a step forward for women in Saudi Arabia, where adult women are still required to have male guardians who make decisions on their behalf, such as the right to travel, study, work, or marry. Saudi women are required to cover themselves in public, and they are banned from driving, forced to rely on male relatives or guardians to travel anywhere.

Last October, over 60 women drove in October in an ongoing campaign to obtain the right to drive.

Media Resources: RT.com 1/3/14; Arab News 1/3/14; Feminist Newswire 10/28/13; FMF Blog 10/25/13; Human Rights Watch 4/21/08