Update: We have been informed that she is not “the first” but the achievement still holds. Reportedly there have been a couple of women who wouldn’t like to be in the public eye but have been paving way for change and empowering others to enter the field.
Raffia Arshad, a member of St Mary’s Chambers in Nottingham, received her letter of appointment as judge for the Midlands circuit last week.
“I don’t just see it as a personal achievement, it is bigger than that,” the 40-year-old told BBC.
Judge Arshad has three kids and has practised family law for more than 17 years. She is an expert of Islamic Family Law.
While talking to BBC she appreciated the support of her husband and said she was indebted to her husband who has supported her immensely and given her space to pursue her passion.
Judge Arshad, who was the first in her family to go to university, said she had “broken that stereotype” of what most people imagine judges look like and encouraged others, no matter what profession, to “aim high”
Vickie Hodges and Judy Claxton, joint heads of St Mary’s Chambers, said they were delighted about the appointment, which was “richly deserved” and “entirely on merit”.