ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 3rd August, 2016) : Women parliamentarians have expressed strong reservations over disagreement of bar associations to fix quota for representation of women judges in the superior judiciary through a bill moved by private member. The `Supreme Court Number of judges (Amendment) Bill' moved by Senator Zaheeruddin Babar was opposed by the Supreme Court Bar Association and Islamabad High Court Association during the meeting of Senate Committee on Law and Justice held the other day.
Talking to APP, Senator Kalsoom Parveen said, "most of the cases registered with the Supreme Court are related to the women but unfortunately women judges are not given representation in Supreme Court." "Why women judges are not considered as capable of reaching this prestigious position. Why women judges have to face such discrimination?", she argued. Kalsoom Parveen said, the bill must be approved by the committee without any delay to give the women judges their due right.
Arguments for not fixing quota for women judges in superior judiciary are all baseless. If we will not give women judges a chance to serve in the superior judiciary, how their strength could be improved, she said. "We will raise our voice for reconsideration of the bill, if it is disposed off by the committee", she said. Senator Samina Abid said women quota for appointment as judges of Supreme Court must be fixed.
She said "It is very unfortunate that we do not have any single women judge in the Supreme Court. If the said bill is disposed off, we will take up this issue in the upper house of the parliament". Samina Abid said women are quite capable of holding responsibilities as judges of the superior judiciary (Supreme Court and High Courts) and they must be given the opportunity to serve the country at this position. Senator Bushra Gohar said it was important to ensure a minimum 33% women representation in the Supreme Court and High Courts.
The situation is much better at the District courts level where we have many very competent women judges. She said "Pakistan is seriously lagging behind and needs to over come the challenges to ensure representation of women in the superior judiciary. "Women judges nomination should be on merit. We have many competent women judges who would qualify to become judges of the Supreme Court", she opined. Women judges should also be appointed as Chief Justices of High Courts and Supreme Courts. We should strive for minimum 33 per cent women judges in the High Courts and Supreme Court. Bar Councils need to recommend steps for ensuring nomination of a minimum of 33 per cent women judges at all levels instead of rejecting a bill just because they think it would be difficult to meet the numbers and merit, she said.