Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Gender Divide The Need for Women Judges in the Higher Judiciary

7 replies, 6 voices Last updated by Samriti Sharma 2 years ago
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    Yash Tiwari
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    The number of women judges in the Superior Judiciary is not matching the contribution made by Indian women to society. Out of 767 judges, only 107 are women Judges: that is about 14.85 percent of total strength. This is not reflective of India’s population that constitutes 48 % female and 52 % male according to Census 2011. One of the reforms recommended for the judiciary is the recruitment of more women judges to the superior judiciary and the removal of reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It is contended that all judges are recruited based on merit without any reservation and after rigorous training at one or more benches, they are appointed as permanent judges. Nevertheless, there has been tremendous progress in this direction in the lower judiciary at the district and subordinate levels. However, there is even less representation of women in the high courts and Supreme Court.

    The need for women judges in the higher judiciary is felt acutely today because it is only in comparatively recent times that women’s access to professional education has been equalized. Stepping out of the conventional confines of the law, I tried to analyze whether preventing discrimination is a right granted to women and men under the Constitution of India, how it can be enforced, and what sort of measures are proposed by the government to improve the condition of women in this country. Once, women were kept away from the higher judiciary due to false notions of prudishness and supposedly inherent inadequacies. Men were portrayed by their opponents as too masculine to understand the nature of emotions and sentiments that were tolerable to women.

    The Supreme Court of India has 348 judges out of a sanctioned strength of 1,058 (35%). Women are abysmally represented only six out of 34 judges (17%). The position is worse at the high court level. Data from the National Judicial Data Grid shows that of the 13,072 judges in high courts, 2,493 or around 19% were women. Any discussion on the issue of deprivation and marginalization of women in the higher judiciary should unquestionably begin with the fact, that despite stating equality, the first woman Chief Justice of India was not even appointed till 2007. Women in India constitute more than half of the population. Yet their representation in the higher judiciary is abysmally less. The appointment of a woman judge as CJI fills this breach, but with a historical perspective, it has to be considered as a token gesture that should not be allowed to become a permanent feature when there is no justifiable reason for such a situation.

    The existing situation in the judiciary is coinciding with the legal system. The law is a representation of the will of the people, it reflects not only men but also the women of our society. Besides upholding its importance, it assumes great significance to find solutions to complicated problems. It seems a boon to have proper representation of women as well as men in the higher judiciary, as it gives legitimacy to a court’s decision making and also would weed out gender discrimination from the legal system. Therefore, it is necessary to make efforts to ensure at least a respectable representation of women in the judiciary and there must be deliberate and conscious effort to increase their number, by providing adequate opportunities for women to appear in the courts, including the Supreme Court. Notably, increasing the number of women judges will also have an impact on increasing public confidence in the judiciary.

    Semantee Chattopadhyay
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    In the year 2020 Supreme Court Women Lawyers association wrote a letter to the chief justice of India urging to appoint experienced woman supreme court lawyers as High Court judges. As of 2020, there were two women judges in the supreme court and 78 in the High Court. The Union Minister for law and justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said the details of the female judges in The tribune us and not maintain Centrally. If we look at the history of judges in the supreme court there have only been 8 women judges since 1950. There are 25 high courts in India. The total number of judges sanctioned in these high courts is 1079. 414 of the seeds which are about 38% are vacant. Only 78 women are judges in these high courts. There are 11 women judges in Punjab and Haryana High Court. There are 9 women judges in Madras High Court. There are 8 women judges in Delhi and Bombay High Court each. High Courts of Patna, Manipur, Meghalaya, Telangana, Tripura and Uttarakhand do not have any women judges. The lower judiciary in India has a mere 27.6% women. There are only 4360 women judges out of the total strength of 15806 judges. At the entry-level in law schools and profession, the ratio of men to women is nearly 50:50. The SCWLA letter comes close on the heels of a suggestion made by the Attorney General of India, KK Venugopal, to increase the number of judges in the judiciary, which could help correct the known theoretical approach of judges in cases of sexual violence. In the past 70 years and unfortunately, there has been made no serious attempt to give adequate representation to women in the high courts and in the supreme court. The vacancies give opportunities to make up for the deficiency in the number of judges. If the quotes give representation to women then it will be a step towards removing gender discrimination. It will lead to the formation of a society with gender harmony.

    Manpreet Singh
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    Out of 1,079 (42 percent) and 7 out of 34 judges (20 percent), the vacancies are significant. There are around 426 judges. But it affords a chance for the lack of women’s representation in higher judicial systems to be addressed. In the current environment, the cause of the first female CJI is not possible for six years. But it can be and should be attempted at this time, both in the high courts and at the Supreme Court, to provide women a proper and adequate representation. In order to eliminate prejudice between men and women, that will ultimately lead to greater social and gender harmony in the judiciary. In any way, a social standard with more young women students coming up and opting for law as a profession will be a step in that direction.
    Judiciary is not to be trusted if it is seen in the face of changes in society and the needs of the most vulnerable as a stronger stronghold of elitism, exclusivity, and privilege. Indeed, if judges themselves are discriminatory, it will be difficult for citizens to respect the court as their protector of law and human rights. Therefore, for the credibility of the judicial, the participation of women is vital. It is not simply because it is right for women, but also because it is right for women to create a more just rule of law that the equality of women’s judges must be achieved, in terms of representation at all levels of the judiciary and in political judicial committees. Women judges enhance the judiciary and contribute to public confidence. However, female judges do not improve their appearance but contribute much more to justice: they also add considerably to the quality of decisions and hence to the quality of justice itself. Women judges worldwide have obtained the required credentials, achieved achievements, and otherwise complied with legal selection requirements. We live as women, however, with all the social and cultural influences that women experience, including complex family and commitments.
    The International Group of Women Judges, a non-governmental association including more than 6,000 members in over 85 nations worldwide, has focused on evaluating from a gender viewpoint in particular. It can be eliminated only by the deliberate and systematic identification of prejudice. Over the years, our members have taken part in judicial training in the interpretation and enforcement of the law in a way that is free from sexual interference. Change in the long-established demographics of a court can make it more convenient for the institution to see itself in a fresh light. As the membership of a court diversifies, its usual practice is less established; hence, the previous techniques are no longer suitable, often dependent on unstated behavior rules or simply inertia. This may be a good opportunity to carry out the comprehensive evaluation, to adopt and implement revised judicial regulations, and to train judges according to clearly defined standards. With new voices, the presence of new faces is frequently the most powerful stimulus to look at things again.

    PALAK KASHIV
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    It is now become very important to have appointed women judges, in a higher court and supreme court, very few amounts are judge’s judiciary, judiciary department needs to realize that giving the equal chance to women to hold the position of judge, but the positive step is taken by former chief justice India our country is going soon have a women chief justice of India. Also, the supreme court is always ready to give chance to women because seeing women people have an idea that women are stepping into every field, they are taking education and achieving their goals, women need to understand that may be becoming a judge requires a lot of patience and hard work but if your mind is set then nothing can stop you for becoming a judge. Women are very efficient and focus there and they saw biased behavior all their life so they will never take wrong or partial decisions, and being a woman, they will better understand the women’s issues and suggest government to make the necessary changes. There is one woman judge in 27 judges that are the scenario, the reason behind this is because women have dropped their studies family members forced to marriage or household chores, the family doesn’t allow, backward thinking and patriarchal mindset. And in rural areas females do not get enough resources to study they have to travel miles to get classes of becoming judges. But we need to encourage females to become judges also women see that some women are being high court and supreme court judges it will motivate them to be work hard.

    DISHA SAPKALE
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    In today’s world their is more need of women judges in the higher judiciary. It has became necessary that while nominating judges for Supreme court and high court their should be equal representation for both men and women in the judiciary. As we all know that higher judiciary has very less means 10% female judges and in lower judiciary their is 27% of female judges whereas Supreme court don’t even have 1% of female judges, as per the scenario their is very few women judges in the judiciary. In Supreme Court of india their is more and more need of women judges because their is only one female judge, as per the total strength which is 27 their should be atleast 20 or 25 females judges are needed in Supreme Court. Their are 1,113 judges in the Supreme Court and High court and in that their are only 80 female judges in the judiciary. In some places like Patna and Tripura they have high court but their is no female judges. The reason of very less women judges is lack of education problems their are females who want to be in the judiciary but they don’t get equal chance or equal opportunities to follow her goals. Many girls and women sacrifice their dreams for their child and many of them don’t get support from their family and also marriage is the major problem between their career goals. Their should be awareness about education in judiciary, so that women will may choose judiciary as their career option. Society need to encourage and support women to have judiciary as their career option and family should also give equal opportunities for both son and daughter in education. Media need to give more focus on importance of judiciary career for women. Due to which females will get to know about their is more need of women judges in the higher judiciary.

    Samriti Sharma
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    To begin with, a person becomes eligible for higher judiciary when he becomes a law graduate with minimum seven years of experience in litigation. It is high time that women in India are given recognition for higher judiciary in the country.
    Till today the number of women judges in higher court have been limited. In high courts women judges constitute only 11.5% and in the Supreme Court there are currently four women justices out of 33. Gender attributes and stereotypes are the reason that women have not been able to excel in the legal profession till date.
    This is the need of the hour that we have more women judges in society today as it will not only empower women but also encourage the young budding lawyers to aim for the same.
    Women judges address the issues related to women atrocities with more caution.

    Samriti Sharma
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    To begin with, a person becomes eligible for higher judiciary when he becomes a law graduate with minimum seven years of experience in litigation. It is high time that women in India are given recognition for higher judiciary in the country.
    Till today the number of women judges in higher court have been limited. In high courts women judges constitute only 11.5% and in the Supreme Court there are currently four women justices out of 33. Gender attributes and stereotypes are the reason that women have not been able to excel in the legal profession till date.
    This is the need of the hour that we have more women judges in society today as it will not only empower women but also encourage the young budding lawyers to aim for the same.
    Women judges address the issues related to women atrocities with more caution and so there is a need for women in higher judiciary. To implement the principle of equality at ground level it here becomes necessary that women are also given an opportunity to participate and prove their capabilities to be appointed to the higher judiciary and empower them to maintain law and order in the country as a whole.
    The patriarchy setup of Indian society is the prime reason that women have been deprived of many opportunities including the elevation to higher judiciary.

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