Missing Women In Law: Perspectives From Malavika Rajkotia
The Delhi High Court is well into 50 years of existence. Yet even today there are only 10 female judges working there out of the total strength of 40. By the way, Delhi High Court has apparently got the largest number of female judges among all the HCs in the country. So where are the missing women? Why are they missing in the first place?
We caught up with divorce lawyer Malavika Rajkotia and asked her the reason behind such gender disparity in law and she said, “There are a lot of women in the law. They are perhaps not a lot in terms of numbers because obviously it is a small percentage. It is big enough for it to not be a novelty.
She added, “Both as lawyers and judges, it definitely is a small percentage.”
She claimed that it is because the recognition of the persona of women and the unwillingness to share power to put them in positions of importance has been a struggle. And this is what the women’s struggle is all about.
Supreme Court has only one female sitting judge, who is sixth in number since its inception while there are a total of 28 judges. Recently, six judges were sworn in but none of them was a woman. Two women Chief Justices were also in the reckoning to be selected as judges yet five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court who were part of the Collegium did not select them.
Malavika is all set to release her first book today –Intimacy Undone: Marriage, Divorce and Family Law in India. Being one of the finest divorce lawyers in the country, she has seen the drama of marriages coming undone at close quarters—the effects of infidelity, jealousy, domestic violence, property disputes and the end of love and compatibility. In this important and revealing book, she draws upon her own extensive experiences in court and with her clients, as well as on case law, to lay bare the mysteries of marriage, divorce and family law.
She also talked about the Triple Talaq debate that is going on in the country for some time now. Her opinion on it is that it should be “done away” with but she explained that her stand on Uniform Civil Code is a little different. “I do not believe that there should be a UCC imposed upon a society. It is up to each community to introspect and decide how they want to change their laws,” said the lawyer.