40-Year-Old Muslim Woman Becomes First Hijab-Wearing Judge In The UK
40-yera-old Raffia Arshad has just made history in the UK after she became the first hijab wearing judge.
Arshad was appointed a Deputy district judge in the Midlands circuit about a week ago.
Arshad said her recent promotion was great news for diversity in a place like Britain.
The mother of three who grew up in Yorkshire, north England, had wanted to be a lawyer since 11 and was the first in her family to go to a university.
On her new role, Arshad said she now wanted to “make sure the sound of diversity is heard loud and clear” and described her elevation as “bigger than me”.
“It’s important for all women, not just Muslim women, but it is particularly important for Muslim women,” she told the Metro.
Ms Arshad added that the position was something she had been “working towards for a number of years”.
She said: “I always imagined I’d be absolutely ecstatic when I found out. I was happy, but the happiness I’ve had from other people sharing this is far greater.
“I’ve had so many emails from people, men and women. It’s the ones from women that stand out, saying that they wear a hijab and they thought they wouldn’t even be able to become a barrister, let alone a judge.”
Ms Arshad has been practising private law dealing with children, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and other cases involving Islamic law for the past 17 years.
She has also written a leading text on Islamic family law.