In the wake of contemporary feminist movements like #MeToo emerging from all over the world since 2016, feminism has been well perceived by young minds and has flourished considerably.
But I believe that it's high time that we question ourselves if this alluring ideology of feminism, a synonym of equality, is getting implemented in our legal profession or not. When we, the privileged lady lawyers, pose ourselves as knights in shining armor, standing for all the women who undergo sexual harassment and gender discrimination, it is quite contradictory that we often forget the plight of the women who undergo the same treatment in the multiple rungs of our own noble profession.
Lawyering is considered as one of the most powerful, noble and dynamic professions in our country. We have had a range of scholars and laureates emerging from this upstanding profession ranging from politicians, economists, academicians and what not. But just like every other profession, women go through a lot of predicaments while aspiring to be a meaningful part of legal fraternity and a worthy contributor to the profession. But unfortunately, these predicaments are not as transparent as other professions to cause any legal infractions. Let me elaborate here: when an incident of sexual harassment takes place in an MNC or a Company, the predator or wrongdoer, even if not completely deterred, is still faced with the trepidation of the mighty Law. But in our very noble profession, especially in the Court practice, a woman inevitably faces perversities from those who are most conversant with the trappings of the law and it is these clever male professionals who would dismiss an acute allegation of sexual assault as 'scurrilous propaganda', 'personal vendetta', 'professional jealousy' and would rub it off their shoulder as a dust stain.
Stalling the Women's Reservation Bill in the Parliament shows the misogynistic attitude of the current government which tries to hide their anti-feministic agendas through pseudo-feministic schemes and programmes like 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.
On this Women's Day when Women all around the globe are being celebrated of their gender, my sincere request to the readers and the policymakers is to acclaim, acknowledge and protect the sacrifices made by my fellow lady members of the bar because they are the ones who waive of their minimalistic joys of life right when they step into the profession.
"Women Lawyers, May Your Tribe Increase!"
Mahalakshmi Pavani is a Senior Advocate at Supreme Court of India.
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