Women lawyers have to work more to prove themselves: SC Judge Desai

Only 8.4 per cent of all judges in the High Courts are women.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: September 6, 2014 3:32:14 am

In a first-of-it-kind initiative in the capital, women lawyers, judges and legal professionals have formed a society for “Women in Law and Litigation” (WILL) as a support platform.

Speaking at the inaugural function of WILL on Friday, Supreme Court Justice Ranjana Desai said women lawyers faced several problems owing to their gender.

“A woman has to work more to prove herself,” Justice Desai said.

Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini also stated that the legal profession was “a bastion of male dominance,” because of the general social prejudice against women professionals.

“The litigating public still prefers to deal with male lawyers than women lawyers,” the Chief Justice said, adding that women were responsible for a “disproportionate share of housework including childcare and elder care”.

“Only 8.4 per cent of all judges in the High Courts are women. The numbers in the lower judicial services is better, with about 30 per cent women judges,” Rohini said. She also said that the government should “endeavour to create a safe and secure environment for women at the workplace.”

WILL is expected to provide professional support, advocacy skills, and a platform for discussion on ways for development of women lawyers, WILL President Advocate Maninder Acharya said.

Justice Hima Kohli of the Delhi High Court, who is the ‘patron’ of the society, said the society would be a “way to give back to the system” for senior lawyers and legal practitioners who have “reached high positions”.

“This is a platform from where all of us can reach out to each other,” Justice Kohli said.

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