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CJI rues lack of women among HC judges

  • Published
    11th Mar, 2022
Context

As per a recent update, only 17 of 37 women recommended as HC judges were appointed by government.

About

About Recent appointments:

  • CJI recently recommended 192 candidates for High courts, of which only 37 (19%) were women.
  • However, only 17 have been appointed as of now. Others are still pending with the government.

Current Situation:

  • In a country where almost 48 percent of the population is women, including the current women workforce, less than 3.3% of the women have made it to the highest courts of India.
  • Out of nearly 17 lakh advocates registered in the country, only 15% are women.
  • Current count of Women Judges in India:
  • Supreme court: 4 out of 33
  • High court: 66 out of 627
  • Subordinate judiciary: Women constitute around 30% 
  • Low women representation in legal profession
  • Out of 17 lakh advocates, only 15% are women
  • State Bar councils: only 2% are women
  • Bar council of India: No women members 

Need to ensure Women's participation in the Judiciary:

  • Powerful assurance: Women judges enhance the legitimacy of courts, sending a powerful signal that they are open and accessible to those who seek recourse to justice.
  • Increasing public trust: Women judges are strengthening the judiciary and helping to gain the public's trust.
  • Enhancing quality of justice: Female judges and lawyers contribute far more to justice than improving its appearance: they also contribute significantly to the quality of decision-making, and thus to the quality of justice itself.
  • Empathic perspective is the judgment: Women judges bring those lived experiences to their judicial actions, experiences that tend toward a more comprehensive and empathetic perspective- one that encompasses not only the legal basis for judicial action but also awareness of consequences on the people affected.
  • Reduced discrimination and biases: With more women in the judiciary, gender discrimination and bias will reduce. Greater gender diversity could change the culture of the system positively.
  • To uphold the dignity of women: When it comes to the distinct perspectives that women judges have brought to the bench, several judgments that uphold the dignity of rape victims are noteworthy.

Reasons behind low number of women in Judiciary:

  • Lower number of women enters into the subordinate judiciary which makes the whole pool distorted towards the men.
  • Double Jeopardy: Women face double jeopardy where they have to take care of their household responsibilities along with professional career. This puts them into disadvantage to male section.
  • Patriarchal Society: Economic responsibility in the household is considered a male work and women are not encouraged in the house to take up professional careers.
  • High Dropouts: Women have more dropout rate than male in the secondary education which affects their probability of undertaking a professional career.
  • Break in career: Women face break in career due to responsibility of child rear which puts them into disadvantage.
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