REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN INDIA

“The world will never be complete until women are the part of it”

Alice Paul, an American Social Reformer

As the quotation addresses, no part of this incredible world would have been completed if a women would not have shared her place. She is an indispensable part of this world, maintaining its balance from ages. Her efforts to build and fashionize the society are commendable from time immemorial.

In the 20th Century, Cornelia Sorabji was the first among the league to join this testosterone dominated society. She became the first female barrister of India who was allowed to practice in Allahabad High Court in 1924. The legal profession had thrown open its doors to the female population of India.

Formally, after the passing of the Legal Practitioners’ (Women) Act, XXIII of 1923 abolishing the bar on women from practicing Law, Indian women were granted the right to take up the legal profession and practice as Advocates in the Courts of Law. Numerous Reformative Laws could be utilized for obtaining social justice and repressive laws could be overthrown for further development, and that women could do it for themselves and others as well was an eye-opener to the Indian society. It is the relentless battle by the educated men and eager women of that era that paved the way for women’s entry into the noble profession of Law.

Justice M.Y. Eqbal said that,

“given their immense talent, enterprise and inherent sensitivity, it was not surprising that women had made their mark in the legal profession and, as a corollary, they had made inroads in the Indian judiciary at all levels, so their respect should be as same as that of male lawyers at Bar and for the outside world.”

Highest ever in history, Supreme Court of India has four sitting women judges. Those are Justices Hima Kohli, BV Nagarathna and Bela M Trivedi and Justice Indira Banerjee. It took almost four decades for the Supreme Court after its establishment to have its first woman judge, with the appointment of Justice Fatima Beevi in October 1980. Justice Beevi was followed by Justices Sujata V Manohar, Ruma Pal, Gyan Sudha Misra, Ranjana Prakash Desai, R Bhanumathi, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee.

The Data provided to Parliament by the Union Law Ministry showed that in the high courts.“ Of the sanctioned strength of 1079 there are 426 vacancies with 653 sitting Judges of the High Courts in India, only  are 78 are women.

The presence of law was very antique in India but it was only limitified to the male gender hardly any woman can access it and practicing the same was a dream for her. But now it is no more an exceptional situation for a woman to be a legal professional rather they have become part and parcel who in many cases stood with exemplary stances for the society.

Fathima Beevi is the first female supreme court judge where it all started. It being the inclusion of women in the very top tier of the Indian judiciary. As it expectedly should have, that feat didn’t make the avenues any wider for women in law. Gender representation has still remained decidedly lopsided towards men.

There are some real heroes who change the world for better with their relentless effort and determination. Seema Kushwaha is one such hero. The lady who fought like a true warrior to get justice for the victim Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case in 2012. She continues to struggle for voices that are often left unheard, and continues to make a dent in this rigid system serving as an inspiration and motivation for others to follow!

The lure of becoming a Judge still holds fray amongst Advocates and lawyers, but the number of female Justices has not increased over the years when compared to male Judges. The reality is that the profession is losing talented women and the trend is not reversing at a sufficient rate. But slowly and surely, the perceptions regarding the profession are turning around favorably to bring about equality in status, parity in pay and novelty in work culture acceptable to women such that more and more women will choose to enter this profession in coming years, thus, ending the gap between the number of men and women advocates.

I would like to say, “Every single legal professional should be judged not on their sex but on their output and nobility towards the profession which is regarded as one of the epoch service to the mankind.”

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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