Five Saudi women doctors have begun working for forensics teams in Jeddah, Makkah daily reported.
Their work involves helping solve crimes, especially those involving women who are victims of sexual assault.
A spokesman for Jeddah's forensics department said the doctors joined three years ago, while two were also employed as a laboratory specialist and technician.
Dr. Manar Al-Harthy said when she was attending medical college, a lecture about forensics and examining corpses convinced her to major in that field.
She is the first woman doctor to hold a Saudi and Jordanian fellowship in forensics in the western region of the Kingdom.
She was working at the emergency unit of a hospital when a colleague told her there was a need for women to work in forensics. “During my first year in this field, I found the work stressful and thought of changing my job,” Al-Harthy said.
She said many who approached her for marriage asked her to change her field of work. However, she became more comfortable in her role, especially as she recognized that there was a need for female forensics officers to deal with sensitive cases involving women.
Dr. Khulood Al-Suwayegh, another of the women forensics officers, said she adapted very well to the field although she began her career as a pediatrician.
Her colleague Dr. Aamnah Al-Fadl said she worked for 12 years in the laboratories of the National Guard Hospital and had never been inside a forensics laboratory until now.
When she moved to the forensics laboratory, she noticed many women were reluctant to work with her and some were giving her strange looks.
Fatimah Al-Qahtani, a nurse working in a forensics laboratory, said although she deals with corpses every day, she is emotionally affected by sexual assault and rape cases. She noted such cases made her more concerned for herself and her children and she is afraid of leaving the house alone.
(This article was first published on Saudi Gazette on Jan. 20, 2014)SHOW MORE