Judiciary; a place dedicated to uplifting justice and equality, is also a
place where there is no equal representation of male and female counterparts. In
India, from the times of the first courts established in Bombay, Madras and
Bengal to this day, after 75 years of Independence, we observe no difference in
encouraging the participation of women in upholding Justice.
After Independence, the right-wing woman stepped forward to take charge in many
areas; from a pilot to military generals but the only judiciary has always been
left in the dark. The article focuses on the importance of spreading awareness
among all, that women can do it, they can be a part and process of the future
landmark judgements that India will make.
Recently, an article was published in the Times of India regarding a protest
conducted by the 90% of the women of Iceland regarding gender inequality on 24th
October, 1975, which was called the "Women's Day Off"
where, they refused
to work for a day and even left their children in the care of their spouse, this
led to the close down of many banks, factories and shops in Iceland.
Even though the protest led for only one day but the impact led to the
recognition of the importance of woman in the society. This historical event
guided the way for Iceland to be number one in "Gender Equality Index
all over the world for the past decade.
Right To Equality, Is It In-Practice In All Places?
Where Indian citizens were privileged that Equality before law and equal
protection of law were being provided by our constitution under article 14
regardless of gender, cast, creed, place of birth; which was all because of the
high ideals of the constitution makers.
But even after 75 years of Indian Independence, our country still suffers from
the lack of sufficient representation from both sex at different positions
throughout nation, one of them being Judiciary, whose main purpose is:
"To protect rule of law and ensure supremacy of law. It safeguards rights of the
individual, settles disputes in accordance with the law and ensures that
democracy does not give way to individual or group dictatorship".
But the irony lies that the place that conducts justice does not have equal
representation of women, in itself.
In High Courts, women judges constitute 11.5%. Here in the Supreme Court, we
currently have four women justices out of the sitting 33. That makes it just
12%. Of the 1.7 million advocates, only 15% are women," Chief Justice Ramana
revealed the huge absence of women professionals in the field of law and
There are many reasons for this; one being legislature being male dominate as
well and their resistance in allowing more women in making laws. At higher job
positions sexual discrimination and nepotism plays an integral role, each and
every person has experienced this and has become indifferent to it.
"Second being; women judges are also at the receiving end of sexism. There have
been instances of losing male lawyers foul-mouthing them. A female judge in
Karkadoma court in Delhi filed, an FIR when she was subjected to sexist abuses
by a lawyer. But her own chief judicial magistrate reportedly asked her to
withdraw the complaint."
Thirdly, education plays a vital role, as a higher position such as judiciary,
various examinations are conducted for which the scores are taken into
consideration rather than the gender, even the SC/SC/OBCs do not have a
reservation for these exams.
The solution for overcoming this gender inequality include the wide spread
awareness through education of gender equality and the need of more female
participation in judiciary. It is important for people to know that when there
is equal representation in the judiciary, then only we will able to make more
landmark judgements towards women protection, equality, humanitarian laws etc.
We need to psychologically develop the mentality of respect and equal position
of women even in higher levels of job.
Politically, new laws have to be made to increase female literacy, more female
employment and equal participation of women in legislature, executive and
judiciary as well.
when women are affected by crimes like rape, sexual harassment, eve-teasing, and
other related offences it is important that women step up take their position in
not only prohibiting these happening to them but also set guidelines and protect
other women from being a victim as well.
"Male officers are mostly occupying high posts in Government institutions and
they cannot deal women issues without prejudice, which is emphasized by rule of
In Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan
, a writ petition was decided by a
division bench comprising of J.S. Verma, C.J.I., S.V. Manohar and B.N. Kirpal,
JJ. The immediate cause of this petition was a brutal gang rape of a social
worker in Rajasthan which was brought up in a class action with the aim to take
up cudgels against sexual harassment of women at workplace through judicial
process in the absence of any suitable legislation.
This judgment laid down duties of the employer, preventive steps, criminal
proceedings, disciplinary actions, complaint mechanism, and awareness mechanism
and made the same binding and enforceable in law until suitable legislation gets
enacted. Through its analysis, Supreme Court concluded that sexual harassment in
the workplace is a violation of women's human rights. Guidelines like this
help like a stepping stone for women to encourage them for more participation in
different judicial positions.
In the conclusion, it is important that there is equal representation in
different sections of society as it shows the strength and vitality of a nation.
And it is time to show that women are not only the backbone to a family but to a
country as well. Equal representation and reducing gender insensitivity will not
only show that our country is progressing but also, that India is a step ahead
in being a developed country in the world.
- https://ncert.nic.in/ncerts/l/keps206.pdf, pg: 125
- Representative Judiciary In India: An Argument For Gender Diversity In
The Appointment Of Judges In The Supreme Court, Uday Shankar, Srichetha
Chowdhury, ILI Law Review Vol. II, Winter Issue 2019, pg;12