Less Than 20% Of Judges, Lawyers In Pakistan Are Women

This figure shrinks to just 5.5% in the higher and superior judiciaries of the country

Less Than 20% Of Judges, Lawyers In Pakistan Are Women

Less than 20% of the judges, lawyers, and judicial officers working in the Pakistani justice system today are women, even though women make up more than half of Pakistan's population.

This was contained in a new report recently released by the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan. The report summarised the landscape of the justice system concerning women working at different levels in it, whether as judges, lawyers,
prosecution officers, or human resource personnel.

The report noted that at the moment, 3,142 judges and judicial officers work across the country at various levels of the judiciary. Of these, 2,570 are men, while the remaining 572 are women, making up just 18% of all working judges.

The report further reveals there are currently 126 judges working in the higher or superior judiciary, including the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Federal Shariat Court, and the five high courts. Of these 126 judges, 119 are men, while only seven are women. Women judges, therefore, make up only 5.5% of judges in the upper tier of Pakistan's judiciary.

In terms of judicial officers, the report states that 3,016 officers are working at the district judiciary level. Out of these, 2,451 are men and 565 are women. This means that just 19% of all judicial officers are women.

The report contained district-wise details of the positions held by female judicial officers, highlighting their significant role in the administration of justice. Additionally, the report includes a province-wise list of ex-cadre positions held by female judicial officers.

Furthermore, the report reveals 230,879 lawyers enrolled in different provincial bars of the country. Of these, 198,100 lawyers are men, while around 40,000 are women. This means that female lawyers make up about 17% of the total lawyers enrolled.

According to the report, data collected from the Prosecution Departments reveals that there are currently 2,210 prosecution officers working in the country. Of these, 1869 officers are men, and 341 officers are women, indicating that women make up only 15% of the total network strength of prosecution officers.

The report highlighted the significant contributions of women in the country's justice sector, apart from pointing out that their representation is not proportional to their share in the country's overall population.

Therefore, it recommended that the government and other relevant stakeholders take steps to encourage the inclusion of more women in the justice sector.

The writer is an Islamabad based journalist working with The Friday Times. He tweets @SabihUlHussnain