Islamabad, 8 January 2022 (TDI): The judicial system of Pakistan has observed a new turn in the history of the country with a nomination of a Female Judge to the Supreme Court.
The initiative has been taken by the top Judicial Commission of Pakistan and is considered a defining moment in the struggle for gender equality in Pakistan.
Justice Ayesha Malik, a 55 years old woman, has been nominated as a female judge to the Supreme Court for the first time in the course of the history of Pakistan.
The activists for gender equality, lawyers, and members of civil society highly lauded the move of the Judicial Commission that paves the ways for women to shatter the glass ceiling by achieving equal rights in all domains.
Activists of human rights and gender equality termed the move as an important and defining moment and considered Justice Ayesha Malik, a brilliant judge to be selected as the first female judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Ayesha Malik has given some landmark verdicts in her legal career, including outlawing virginity tests for female rape survivors last year. She said in her verdict that this practice is humiliating for the victim and casts less focus on the accused.
Justice Ayesha’s verdict is applicable in the province of Punjab and was highly applauded by the female rights activist and human rights advocates that has proved her competence and boldness beyond the courtroom.
Feminists have considered the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik, as a ray of hope in the judicial system as it has not only provided a seat to a woman in the Supreme Court for the first time but also brought new shades in the chapter of women rights in the legal field.
The decision has faced many challenges in its initial stages of approval, one group of lawyers, threatened to strike if Ayesha Malik joined the Supreme Court bench.
The nine-member commission turned down her appointment to the Supreme Court last year, but this time the decision has changed the fate of women in the judicial system as five votes to four were cast in her favor.
The objection to her appointment by the number of lawyers and judges was presented on the ground that Justice Ayesha Malik’s selection has violated the rules in terms of seniority as she was not among the top three senior judges in the court.
The prevailing phenomenon that men supersede women in all domains has been observed by the eyes since the inception of Pakistan. Activists also termed it as a trendsetting move in a country where women are living in grey zones under a constant threat of gender-based violence. Such initiative can help women to grow and thrive in professional domains.
More women in the Supreme Court can hopefully have an immense impact on the judicial system to become more transparent and inclusive and to break the barriers for women of marginalized communities.