Greetings, this is advocate Nishant Mishra, friends as we know that the half of the population is also contributing to the upliftment of the nation and now it is also to be considered that the other half of the population as we hear that they have been a part of the disregarded section of the society. So, does this happen in the courts as well, with the female advocates who play an important role in providing justice to others and thus to discuss the issue we have a very special panel.

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 Starting this discussion, Adv. Astha Firstly I would like to ask you that what is your point of view regarding the initial phase for a female lawyer, is it challenging and is there a diff. between the challenges faced by a male lawyer and a female lawyer? -ADV. NISHANT

Quoting a statement of Pinki Anand ma’am and as we know she is the Additional Solicitor General of India. listening her interviews as they are very motivating and somewhere in her interview she stated that a supporting family and a supporting partner is the prerequisite condition for being successful in this field of law and litigation.

Secondly, statement she said that “whenever a women raised her voice she is discerned to be quarrelsome and not asserted” which means ‘Jhagdalu’ and as the people call her that, the substance of her reason for raising the voice is turned down and these statements being the core concept of the topic and the female advocates do have to face many struggles from her family as well as the profession’s encounters and simply stating that she has to face a lot of challenges.  -ADV. ASTHA


Chhavi, being a student what do you come across within your peers and your family regarding the future decision for choosing the litigation as a profession. -ADV. NISHANT

Sir, primarily elevating a question, that in the era of this 21st century why is there a need to bring out a discussion on this topic and as our Indian Constitution itself talks about equality, the DPSP enshrined in our Constitution, clearly talks about equal pay and equal work. As we know that no profession demands a specific gender specifically as an eligibility criterion and every profession demands an individual who is capable of doing the work efficiently & effectively. Now coming onto answering the question in regard to family, friends etc., the first thing said by the family is that you opted law, its good but consider litigation as the last resort and therefore the question is why is it so that litigation should always be considered as a last resort and approving to the notion that a woman has to face a lot of challenges and in comparison to a female litigant the things are relaxed for a male lawyer, and being the first generation of the law profession from my family motivating and convincing a lot of people in relation to pursuing and considering the litigation as the first option. Now, speaking about the peer pressure, it also is at the same stage as in group of friends too they don’t consider litigation as their first option though from the former times the proportion has changed the percentage of girls has increased a lot but still the field of litigation precisely has a lesser number of females than males. -CHHAVI


Adv. Astha, would you like to answer the same query regarding the psychology that exists in our society, family, peers, etc. which utters that when a female law student decides to pick litigation as a profession then primarily she is being forbidden from doing so. -ADV. NISHANT

 

As our panellist is very young and listening to her views I think of my old days. I would like to mention that literally the families’ mentality which we have in our society they initially forbid to opt for law but if you have opted for law then you should go for judiciary, intensifying the issue of our safety and I don’t understand that where do we have safety and in fact I would say that the safety is in your own hands and family having soft corner towards her daughter they don’t want their daughter to choose this field which is actually male dominating. We have to deal with the client, the lawyers, the judges and most of them are males and the family because of the soft corner they don’t want us to face that and in my time  I used to ask this question myself that why not this litigation as a profession, which I was not able to understand when I was a student but when I started the practice as an advocate I got it and now if I talk about the psychology then it’s basically not about the psychology as before marriage the challenges and the concern of the family is different but after marriage they are different she has to make a balance between the personal life and the professional life sometimes people quote that if a female advocate raises her voice then she is ‘Tez’ and I am not able to understand this notion and if a girl is bringing out her thoughts then what sort of ‘Tez’ is she. -ADV. ASTHA


Adv. Astha I would like to ask two more things as you mentioned, the client dealing, both before marriage and after marriage there are always challenges being faced by a female lawyer and I would like to ask you two questions that if a female lawyer is choosing a profession then we can see that many female lawyers are inclined towards choosing the family matters, do you think that options for a female lawyer are restricted or limited and the second question is that, like we see that a female lawyer start in some other district or state but after marriage the district, state, or even the country is changed and under such scenarios what would you like to mention about the challenges faced by the female lawyer? -ADV. NISHANT

Nishant I would like to divide this into two forms one is law firm service and second is the litigation and there is lot of flexibility in both and when we talk about law firm, like you said that before choosing it you have to face some challenges and whenever we go in a law firm the first and foremost question is about the marital status and if I tell you in U.K. under Equality Act, 2010 it is not permissible to ask your marital status but in India we are to get the job after telling the marital status and that too the reason behind it is that the law firms don’t want to invest in the female lawyers as they think that after marriage she would leave. Now if we talk about litigation then no doubt there is flexibility but still this field is of presence and hard work and till the person dives into the field the existence is not seen till then no one is going to come to your door. So, there are many problems in litigation for females and there are many female lawyers who are not able to give much time due to their family and children and thus it affects their earning and their career. This is what I am trying to tell that in our society regarding this turf many females have to face the issue and the most important issue faced by a female is public dealing like a female can’t go to every department and Ms. Indu Malhotra ma’am quoted the same thing once in her interview and she told the same issue of the public dealing and if there would be no public dealing there would be no client and then the only option is to work under a senior advocate but till when one would be dependent under a senior advocate and for dealing with this problem the most important thing is the supporting family. -ADV. ASTHA


Chhavi as you are a law student so I would like to ask you that what is the status quo in the colleges and universities How do they see litigation as a profession to opt for? -ADV. NISHANT

Sir, when it comes to counselling then everybody comes to you with litigation as  a part and at that time it is common but when it comes to practicality then the approach is completely different, the problems are enforced and the females are told that before going to the profession you must see through the challenges which you would be facing and according to me the challenges should be equal for both male and a female but as ma’am told the public dealing when this comes then the females are told an extra lesson that the you have to maintain the dignity in a own way and deal with others in a different way this is the most grave problem which a male and a male lawyer has never to think of. They just have to go straight forward and adding to ma’am’s point of view for family I see the concern of family as two-faced thing which is pre-marital stage and the post-marital stage and the females have to struggle in both the lives and According to me there is a difference, between the issues and problems which are being faced by a male lawyer and a female lawyer which I believe should be similar for both. The females should not have to take a second thought before choosing the litigation as profession. -CHHAVI


According to me basically, the environment which is being set-up in contradiction to females which is not female friendly that is main reason behind the problem. -ADV. NISHANT

Nishant it is not about the psychology it’s about the problem which is prevalent there and if we talk about the cleanliness in the courts and a female’s life before and after pregnancy and most of the ladies draw from the litigation after pregnancy and the courts have not been having proper sanitation facilities and there are no breast feeding rooms, a PIL was also filed in Delhi HC related to this that separate rooms should be provided for this. We all know, a lady is very inclined towards her child and today’s time too, the females are not that advanced that they would ignore their child and the problem is that there is no maternity relief and thus there is no corporate job which she can opt for, if you do independent litigation then this all affects it. If you have an issue, the client will not come to you and in the same way that the parents and the society I would not say they are wrong but I would say in spite of considering the problem people should be concerned to find a solution to the problem and again I would like to quote Pinki Anand Ma’am, that if you want to involve the females into litigation then involve them into panels as if there would be panels then they would have the proper income & they would be able to earn and look after their child as well and if we see there are ample number of problems and psychological, physical etc. but there are many other problems as well. -ADV. ASTHA

Sir, I would like to add a stats into ma’am’s words of a study conducted by “Legally India” in which  in regard to the maternity reliefs and the maternity period, a study was done and it clearly depicted the status of women in the pre and post pregnancy period and because of which many of them has to drop litigation as they have to either invest time in their family or some other job and the stats mention that a female has to take gap of about six weeks to six years and now if we consider the gap in her career then such a gap would be like to restart their career and one more problem which is deep rooted is the non-encouragement. One more study conducted by “Legally India”, that says 60% of females are participating in the litigation and only 15% are promoted to the equity holder’s position and people don’t encourage their efforts as there is gender biasedness.  -CHHAVI

Actually, Chhavi what I think is that the problems are running from a long run not only in our profession but in all professions like our political systems and other systems all these problems complement each other and they sustain from such a long time. For encouragement like in our Bollywood the movie ‘CHAPAAK’ the recent Damini Case which just got decided. So, Chhavi do you think that if we take the example from the Bollywood, do you get some encouragement from it.  -ADV. NISHANT

Sir, if we talk about the biasedness then it exists there too and if we take the example of Priyanka Chopra who is a global star and now if we compare her with all the three khans then the income of her is far less than the male actors. Sir, as you said it is not about a specific gender in a particular field this problem prevails everywhere in all fields and the encouragement is required in all fields and only then a woman would be able to perform well. If we talk about maternity benefit there is no maternity benefit in the field of law and this is also one of the reasons they get vulnerable and de motivated.  -CHHAVI


Adv. Astha I would like to ask that the Damini Case which just was decided & her lawyer was also a female. Do you think that it can be a beacon of motivation for the female lawyers? -ADV. NISHANT

Yes, definitely it is my personal experience that if a matrimonial dispute arises then the female client is generally not able to consult a male litigant and the families have the same issue too then if there would be more female advocates then more female advocates would get motivated too and for these it is very necessary to have many female litigants and many female lawyers who chooses litigation as their profession. -ADV. ASTHA