Bihar Federation Of Women Lawyers And Bihar State Legal Services Authority Collaborate To Empower Women In Legal Profession
In a remarkable tribute to the resilience and determination of women in the legal profession, the Bihar Federation of Women Lawyers (BFWL) was inaugurated on September 2, 2023, at the Patna High Court. The BFWL stands as a testament to the progress achieved and the journey that lies ahead for women in the legal field, especially in the heartland of Bihar.In a significant step towards...
In a remarkable tribute to the resilience and determination of women in the legal profession, the Bihar Federation of Women Lawyers (BFWL) was inaugurated on September 2, 2023, at the Patna High Court. The BFWL stands as a testament to the progress achieved and the journey that lies ahead for women in the legal field, especially in the heartland of Bihar.
In a significant step towards empowering women lawyers and promoting gender equality in the legal field, the BFWL recently convened a meeting with the Bihar State Legal Services Authority (BSLSA) to chart a path forward in their collaborative efforts.
The inauguration was graced by Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran, the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court, who also serves as the Patron-in-Chief, and Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh, the Executive Chairman of the Bihar State Legal Services Authority (BSLSA). Both esteemed figures appreciated the initiative of BFWL to collaborate with BSLSA, marking a significant step towards empowering women lawyers and promoting gender equality in the legal profession.
The event also saw the participation of several esteemed high court judges, including Justice Madhuresh Prasad, Justice Vipul M. Pancholi, Justice P.B. Bajanthri, Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, Justice Satyavrat Verma, Justice Khatim Raza, and Justice Dr. Anshuman Pandey.
Additionally, the meeting was graced by the presence of retired high court judges, such as Justice Nillu Agarwal (Retired), Justice Mridula Mishra (Retired), Justice P.K. Sinha (Retired), and Justice Shailesh Kumar Sinha (Retired).
The Advocate General of Bihar and the Additional Solicitor General of India were also in attendance at the meeting.
Ms. Dhriti Jasleen Sharma, Joint Secretary, Bihar State Legal Services Authority, Patna says, “BSLSA and BFWL can jointly work to provide free and competent services to marginalized sections of society and to reach out to those who are unable to seek legal assistance. BSLSA and BFWL may organize workshops for mentoring the Panel advocates of DilSA. BFWL in collaboration with the State/District Legal Services Authorities will also work for inmates in Jail, Victim rights, and the rights of children living in Slum areas. BSLSA appreciates the support of BFWL, who also volunteered to provide pro bono legal services for Marginalized sections of society.”
“BSLSA and BFWL may organize legal awareness workshops and legal literacy programs. BFWL can also work on social justice litigation by filing PIL on issues related to women's and children's rights,” she added.
Opportunities for BFWL Members by BSLSA:
1. Training and Lectures: BFWL will provide training and lectures on important legal topics for empanelled lawyers. Proposed subjects include the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act. The plan will be aligned with the BSLSA calendar.
2. Prison Visits for Legal Aid: BFWL in collaboration with BSLSA will provide legal aid to undertrial prisoners and conduct legal awareness initiatives.
3. Shadow Lawyers: Members of BFWL will have the opportunity to work with empanelled lawyers of BSLSA on a pro bono basis.
4. Active Participation in Legal Awareness Camps: BFWL will actively participate in legal awareness camps organized by BSLSA.
5. Addressing Slum Area Issues: BFWL, in collaboration with BSLSA, will work on a roadmap to raise awareness among slum dwellers about their rights, including education, healthcare, and legal rights.
6. Integration with Samatva: A suggestion has been made to include the activities of BSLSA and corresponding data in Samatva.
Proposed Initiatives by BFWL:
- Legal Training Workshops: Regular legal training workshops will be conducted to enhance the professional skills and knowledge of female lawyers.
- Mentorship Program: A mentorship program will bridge the gap between experienced professionals and newcomers, fostering a supportive community within the legal fraternity.
- Awareness Campaigns: BFWL will actively engage in awareness campaigns to promote women's rights and opportunities within the legal profession.
- Internship Programs: These programs will provide practical exposure to young female law students, encouraging more women to pursue legal careers.
- Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seminars: Regular CLE seminars will keep practicing female lawyers up-to-date with changes in laws and emerging legal trends.
- Advocacy and Policy Reforms: BFWL will engage with policymakers to advocate for gender-sensitive legal reforms that enhance women's rights and access to justice.
Collaboration for Change: BFWL and BSLSA
The collaboration between the Bihar Federation of Women Lawyers and the Bihar State Legal Services Authority aims to enhance access to justice for marginalized sections. Together, they will establish legal aid clinics, organize legal awareness workshops, develop a referral system, and work on public interest litigation cases related to women and children's rights.
On the occasion of inauguration of BFWL, Advocate-on-Record Shama Sinha (Patna High Court) said, "It is a symbol of resilience, a beacon of hope, and a catalyst for change. Comprising dedicated female lawyers, the BFWL is committed to empowering and supporting women in the legal field. The tribute is more important as it comes from the State where women lawyers are still struggling for acceptance in the legal profession."
In the centenary year of women in the legal profession, the Bihar Federation of Women Lawyers is poised to lead the way towards a more inclusive and equitable future for the legal profession in Bihar.