Gender bar: No woman  candidate in court polls

  • Deevakar Anand, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • |
  • Updated: Mar 27, 2013 00:56 IST

For the third year in a row, not a single woman candidate is in the fray to contest elections of the Gurgaon District Court Bar Association.

Slated for April 5, no woman candidate is contesting for the four posts of office bearers – president, vice-president, secretary and joint secretary.

This makes for a curious case in the Millennium City, where women work in tandem with men in nearly 300 Fortune-500 companies.

The last woman lawyer to have been an office-bearer in the district Bar was Krishna Shukla, who held the post of vice-president in 2008-09.

Since 1974, when the first elections were held, only one woman lawyer has been the Bar secretary, while three have won the post of vice-president and one has been the joint secretary. 

Also, out of 2,685 voters listed for the April 5 Bar poll, nearly 300 are women.

The total number of registered members in the Gurgaon district court is about 3,800. However, only about 10% of them are women.

During last year’s elections, women lawyers constituted merely 5-6 % of the total votes cast. While 2,339 voters were listed, 1,983 lawyers — which included nearly 100 women —turned up to vote.

Both male and women lawyers attribute social and family pressures for the less representation of women in the district Bar.

“Unlike male lawyers, women are not comfortable with practices such as door-to-door canvassing to seek votes,” said Mukul Sharma, present secretary of the Bar.

“We have family obligations. We cannot go out at night like our male counterparts in case of an emergency. Hence women don’t want to contest elections,” said a senior woman lawyer on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Bar association is mulling to record the voting process on CCTV cameras to avoid allegations of rigging.


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