Egypt's judiciary chief has named the country's first female judges despite opposition from conservative Muslims, according to a decree published Wednesday.
Mukbil Shakir, the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, gave 31 women judge or chief judge positions in Egypt's courts, the official Middle East News Agency said, quoting Shakir's decree.
The move is expected to give a boost to President Hosni Mubarak's political and social reforms that have been widely criticized as too restricted.
But others said the announcement still falls short of providing women equal opportunities.
The decree said the women, who previously were working as state prosecutors, have passed a special test before named to their new posts.