Golden Jubilee of the Women Lawyers’ Association held
The percentage of women among lawyers continues to be negligible in the Indian Bar even in the 21 Century, according to Supreme Court Judges. They said on Saturday that women lawyers have a greater role to play in effective administration of justice and are vital for transformation of future society.
Participating in the Golden Jubilee of the Women Lawyers’ Association here, Justice P.Sathasivam, Judge of Supreme Court, said only a few women lawyers enrolled in the Bar and fewer actually practised. “There is an almost equivalent ratio of women and men in law schools and colleges, but when they move up in the ladder from students to lawyers and then Benches, the number of females in the profession drastically reduces.”
Urging the legal fraternity to make the profession more conducive for women lawyers, Mr.Justice Sathasivam said the role of women lawyers became more vital in matters such as those involving domestic violence, gender discrimination, child abuse and violence related to women and children, since women have greater empathy, understanding and acceptance among the victims.
He also added: “In the 2011 report of National Crime Record Bureau, the statistics reveal that the percentage of trials pending in rape cases is 83.6 per cent. Further, there are about 677 rape cases which had been registered in Tamil Nadu in 2011, which aggregates to two cases being registered everyday. Thus, women lawyers have a greater role to play in such situations.”
Expressing concern over the exploitation of women, Justice F.M.Ibrahim Kalifulla said, “Women exploitation is a reality, gender justice is fragile myth. Women’s emancipation lies in their education and awareness of their rights.”
He stated that only a few women had knowledge of laws for their protection. He advised the Women Lawyers’ Association and Madras High Court Advocates Association and other associations to chalk out a scheme to hold legal literacy programmes.
Mr.Justice Kalifulla also underlined the need of equal protection to transgenders and said: “They are equally entitled to very same protection akin to women. Whatever it is to be done to women should also be equally done to transgenders.”
Justice M.Y.Eqbal said 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.
D.Murugesan, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, R.K.Agrawal, Acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court, and D.Prasanna, president of the Women Lawyers Association, participated.