Unfortunately Pakistan is the only country in South Asia that has never appointed a female judge in her Supreme Court.Currently the number of women serving as the judges of respectable High Courts is seven which is alarming. There are only 5.8% judges in the higher judiciary of Pakistan according to a report by HRCP.
It was in 1994, when the then Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto , appointed the first female judge of Pakistan.It is a common perception that when the time came to appoint the respectable judge, Khalida Rashid from Peshawar to the higher office, she was given choice either to be a nominee of Pakistan in International Criminal Court or to leave .This is a terrible example of gender discrimination in the higher judiciary.
Women are underrepresented in the higher judiciary of Pakistan . It is a terrible trend that a country with 51% female population has only 5.6% of female judges. Women can adjudicate better when it comes to their own gender rather than men. Male chauvinism, religious hypocrisy, governmental indifference and the judicial status quo has aggravated the problem.
1 There should be a compulsory female quota in judiciary.Government should reconsider its response on the Bill Introduced by MQM MNA Saman Sultana Jafri about the amendment to the Supreme Court Act, 1997.
2 There should not be any gender discrimination in selection procedure of judges for Supreme Court and High Courts. Currently there is no female judge appointed in Islamabad High Court.
3 There should be more female judges in Sharia Court. Only one is not enough in its history of 33 years.
4 Government should promote women participation in judicial sector by all means at its disposal.This starts from getting more women to enroll in law departments throughout the country.
5 Safer and Respectable work environment for female judges is to be ensured.
6 There should be new legislation for this purpose
7 Pakistan should fulfill its responsibility arising from her commitment to international agreements like CEDAW and Bejing declaration