Lahore (LHCBA): March 8, International Women’s Day, is celebrated around the world against gender discrimination so that women can stand up for their rights with full force.
In Pakistan, women lawyers are playing their full role alongside male lawyers in delivering justice. But women lawyers face many challenges in securing their rights, which the judiciary and relevant institutions have never made a serious effort to address.
A program was held at Karachi Shohda Hall Lahore High Court Bar Association on the occasion of International Women’s Day in which lawyers including the cabinet of High Court Bar Association Lahore participated in large numbers. In this program, Rabia Bajwa Advocate Supreme Court presented a resolution which was approved by a majority.
Through this resolution, the following demands were put before the President of the High Court Bar Association, Maqsood Butter Advocate, Supreme Court:
- Gender and discrimination policies against women in the advocacy sector should be abolished immediately. Practicing women lawyers should be ensured access to important and key positions, as well as effective representation of women lawyers in the Advocate General and the Attorney General’s Office. Women lawyers should be given priority over merit rather than belonging to a family or law firm.
- The number of women judges in the High Court should be increased and women should be given proportional representation. No woman judge has been appointed in the Supreme Court till date but in the past women judges have been subjected to the worst discrimination in this regard. These discriminatory behaviors are unacceptable. The appointment of women judges in the Supreme Court should be ensured under the Constitution.
- The process of appointment of judges in the Lahore High Court should be made transparent, proper representation of women judges should be taken care of and women judges should be appointed in the High Court on the basis of merit.
- Women lawyers also face an exploitative system at the class level. Their lack of access to key advisors and professional opportunities is negligible. On the other hand, by appointing women from influential families to these positions in the judiciary, the right of eligible women on merit is violated. In this regard, a transparent policy should be announced in consultation with the bar officials.
- Policy should also be formulated in respect of actions, liquidations, government / defense cases and women lawyers and especially newcomers in the field of advocacy should be given such opportunities on priority basis to encourage them.
- In view of the increasing number of women lawyers, the Lahore High Court Bar Room should be expanded for their convenience.
- Women should be given permanent representation in the executive committee of the Lahore High Court Bar Association.
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