Gender Perspective of Judicial Appointment Process in South Africa and India
Requiring a woman to choose between work and personal life is the most severe form of discrimination she can face. In practice, the large disparity between the number of women and men is not getting much attention, despite the significant increase in women studying law. From a colonial misogynist whim to a post-colonial facade of the "new-age construct of Indian woman," the legal profession has done nothing to decolonise itself from its rudimentary understanding of "equality of opportunity." When Indian jurisprudence has been swooning over the sweeping effect of transformative constitutionalism in the understanding of equality as enshrined in the Indian Constitution, one cannot help but wonder why the legal profession was left out of its brushing effect. It leads us to examine the existing literature on bar policies and the steps taken by regulatory bodies in assessing situations that are favourable or unfavourable to furthering women's issues in modern-day India. In contrast, South Africa's pro-women Bar policies are appealing in terms of evaluating their applicability and extent in terms of promoting inclusivity at the Bar. This article seeks to capitalise on the potential of these two countries in carving out a niche for women to play a substantive role in designing governance policies through the judiciary. The methodology makes use of a comparative and analytical understanding of doctrinal resources. The article examines the current gender composition of the legal profession while supporting the concept of substantive equality as a requirement in designing an appropriate judicial appointment process. The welfare policies of Bar, for instance, the parental leave, keeping track of the demographic composition of advocates in South Africa plays a distinct role in transforming the gender composition of the judiciary.
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