Representation of Women In Legal Profession In India
The legal profession has always been an important limb for the administration of justice in each and every sphere, and the path of women in the legal profession can very easily be marked out as a process of continuing challenge. As it is rightly said by The Mahatma Gandhi ji “So long as women in India do not take part in public life, there can be no salvation”. And it is rightly proved by many female legal professionals who are working in public interest.
The status of women in India has been subject to many great changes over the past few millennia. With a decline in their status from the ancient to medieval times,[ to the promotion of equal rights by many reformers, the history of women in India has been eventful. In modern India, women have held high offices including that of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, chief Justice or advocate etc.
There are lot many woman who have inspired women or created a platform for women to archive lot irrespective of stream. Like, Peary Charan Sarkar, a former student of Hindu College, Calcutta and a member of “Young Bengal”, set up the first free school for girls in India in 1847 in Barasat, a suburb of Calcutta (later the school was named Kalikrishna Girls’ High School).
In the past women were supposed to hold household work and men were supposed to work outside. But as the rate of education is growing, the women are now showing their talent in every field irrespective of profession. Firstly, Legal profession used to be considered as insecure or unsafe for women but now women have proved themselves in that field too. The best example of which is Cornelia Sorab ji, who was the first female advocate in India. She worked for the society throughout her life like she worked on behalf of purdahnashins.
The profession of law has been a male dominated field since 19th century in India. Women were refused the privilege to practice law until High Court of Allahabad took lead and permitted Miss Cornelia Sorabji in 1921 to practice law. Since then, the % of women in legal profession has been increased. Since 1970 the % is increasing rapidly. But women faces lot many problems in practicing in court and thus, the profession itself derives less number of women.
Now days, the pioneer of the movement for entry of women in draftsmen and assistants is also remarkable.
The women participation in the judiciary cannot be seen much. As currently, Justice R. Bhanumathi is the only women judge among 29 judges of Supreme Court.
Government is playing a great role in supporting women in every aspect even more in legal aspect. First step is taken by state as it gave a legal platform to women to emerge as an advocate or to emerge as an magistrate or drafts person etc.
Representation of women in legal profession as academician is more as compared to other legal profession as it the safest profession for them, moreover very respectful work for a women. They teach other generation to attain those goals which she might have aspired.
In the growing scenario, women were earning less than men but now they are even earning more than men which is in it an example of success of women in legal profession.
I do believe women are pursuing law stream in droves. And they are passionately working in that field.
In general sense, what women lack female role models in the legal profession. Sure there are big names like Indira Jaising and Zia Mody that everyone is aware of. But these eminent female lawyers are few in number. But there are not brilliant female lawyers the way you there are male lawyers. But shortly this will change, because of the steady and rapid influx of women in the profession.
There are certain women advocates in India who are utilising their life to advocate for those people who cannot tell their stories, or to defend those people whose freedom is in menace or threat. Like Karuna Nundy, an advocate in the Supreme Court of India, who has contributed significantly to the gender justice movement in India.
Thus, it can be said that it is still a process of continuing challenge for women to represent them in legal profession and this profession has to do more with the interest of woman than appeasement and then soon they will be emerged as prestigious star in the field of law. Hence, “the nation would not march forward, if the women are left behind” – Swami Vivekananda.
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