Lahore, January 07, 2022 (PPI-OT):The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) welcomes the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik to the Supreme Court of Pakistan. As the first woman judge appointed to the apex court in the country’s judicial history, this is an important step towards improving gender diversity in the judiciary, where women reportedly account for only 17 percent of judges overall and just under 4.4 percent in the high courts.
Nonetheless, addressing Pakistan’s gender disparity and indeed other forms of disparity on the grounds of class, ethnicity or religion on the bench and in the bar warrants a more proactive, long-term approach that tackles structural discrimination and casual sexism in the legal community. This entails appointing competent women – who are certainly not in short supply – to decision-making positions such as the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, and investing resources in making the legal profession, including education, training and other opportunities for professional development, more easily available to women across class and region. Additionally, the nomination and appointment procedure should be made transparent and more democratic to avoid controversies.
A more gender-diverse judiciary will have far-reaching effects on people’s access to justice and the quality of justice. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that a greater proportion of women on the bench would make the courts more accessible for litigants and victims from vulnerable groups, in turn improving public confidence in the judiciary itself.
For more information, contact:
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)
Aiwan-i-Jamhoor, 107-Tipu Block,
New Garden Town, Lahore-54600