The importance of legal education for female sex
Written by: Jnandeep Bora, Senior Judicial Assistant, Guwahati HC
“Women are the equal companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacities. She has the right to participate in the minutest details in the activities of man, and she has the equal right to liberty of freedom and liberty with him.”
Pujya Mahatma Gandhiji
The above quoted saying of Pujya Mahatma Gandhiji is precisely relevant in all the domains of life, as far as, gender equations are concerned. Yes, it is a reality that gender disparity is quite common in the Indian society. I believe, among the various mediums which have the potential to bring in gender parity in the Indian society legal education or the realm of law is also one of them. As the very idea of law is to promote justice and the very base of any country’s justice delivery system lies on the concept of promoting parity in the society. Therefore, it would not be wrong to come to the conclusion that, promoting legal education among the female sex of our country may in the long run turn out to be a game changer as far as our goal of establishing a society with gender parity in it.
At this point of time, in the specific context of gender issues and moreover, as far as, promoting gender parity legal education may open a new paradigm in the Indian society. The present Indian society is still under the clutches of gender disparity. Patriarchy is a reality and gender parity is a far cry in it. The very concept of justice lies in being impartial towards all and thereby shedding off inequality in the society. Thus, the way ahead to promote an egalitarian society certainly lies in the fact of imbibing the female sex with the nitty grittiest of our legal system and thereby in the long run embolden and empower the female sex with the concept of legal education.
What deters the female sex in studying law?
The answer to this question lies in most of the Indian families in just to marry off the girls mostly after the age of 18 (as the marriageable age for the female sex is 18 years in the Indian society) rather than climbing the echelons of higher education. Still in the nook and corner of the country this type of trend of marrying off girls at the age of 18 or even below is certainly a reality. As it has been proved time and again that, early marriage is risk prone for the female sex especially as far as their health aspects are concerned, so those individuals enlighten with higher education or even in some cases enlighten with legal education must raise their voices in this regard. In this movement of raising marriageable age of women legal education has a role to play too. If we want to promote legal education among the female sexes then it is only the females, who still today in large numbers are deprived from the study of law in spite of sometimes having interest in it must themselves raise their voices in this regard.
The mandate of judiciary is to impart justice. Therefore, in this light of the fact, it can be rightly said that, justice in such a scenario will never be egalitarian if half the populace of our country in the form of the female sex have to live an unshackled and dominant life in our country. This is especially relevant due to the fact of prevailing patriarchy in our Indian society. Therefore, the mandate of judiciary which is of imparting justice will certainly usher in and blossom itself if the concept of law is embolden by the spread of legal literacy among the female sex in our country. Moreover, there is another advantage for the female sex if they imbibe in the realm of legal education. It is seen that those females who have turned out to be members of the legal fraternity or even those who have become law makers in our country they have shown high oratory power. It has been proved time and again that, in legal profession having oratory power is an advantage in it. Therefore, it would not be wrong to comment that, women have an inbuilt capacity of oratory power and thereby establishing their point. This trait of oratory power on the part of women may I think, in the long run, may certainly work wonders for the female sex in establishing themselves in the legal profession as it is considered as a part and parcel of it.
What hinders the female sex in taking up the legal profession?
Yes, it is true that, early marriage, patriarchy and gender-disparity as a whole are some of the hindrances for the female sex in taking up the legal profession. Moreover, in most quarters it is felt that legal profession being an independent profession with the least job security in it so most of the females especially of our country, at times are reluctant to join the legal profession. Educated women who are fortunate to be so, sometimes feel it is better to be in the salaried class even if it has less job security in it then joining the legal profession. Moreover, women since time immemorial has been a victim of lust of the male sex. Female legal professionals sometimes become the victims of the hungry eyes of their male bosses. All these factors, also most of the time deter the female sex to join the independent profession of law in our country. These are certainly cases of moral turpitude in such a noble profession like law especially in the context of our country, India. The concept of law lies on the whole fact of establishing parity in the society. Therefore, the persons involved in the legal profession should certainly be of high moral character, so that, in the long run society as a whole can be uplifted in this regard. In this endeavour law, legal education and justice delivery system can certainly act as a path finder in this regard.
How legal education among the female sex act as an answer to our social maladies?
Indian society is a cosmopolitan and a vibrant society. Here many tribes, communities, religions, castes, and races of people exists and flourishes. Hence, more the diversity, the more the variety of problems in every aspects of the society that the people of the country faces. In this regard, it can be rightly said that, legal education among the masses in general and legal education among the female sex in particular may help the Indian society to make a pathway towards an egalitarian society. In this egalitarian society, every one’s voices would be heard and thereby no one will be deprived of their own share of justice. In this regard, there should not be any classification of gender, caste, tribe etc., Then only our pathway towards a coherent society will be a reality. Therefore, in such a society happiness of one and all will prevail over all the other factors of life in it.
At the same time, how women’s legal literacy may help them as a whole in promoting an egalitarian society?
In the case of the most of the feuds, malaises and the various ills that our democracy faces the ultimate resort for the victims are the corridors of law or the courts of the country. Therefore, females as being the half of the populace of the country must be emboldened and enlightened enough by the study of law, so that they too can come to the real terms of the fact in such a scenario. Therefore, in such a situation, where legal awareness, legal literacy and legal education as a whole would be a reality then, the day would not be far away when gender parity itself would be a reality. As gender seclusion and gender disparity in our country is a reality and, in this regard, the legal system could be a path finder of all these malaises. Hence, let come we spread in our country a new movement where in the female sex are encouraged to study about the legal system and thereby not only finding solutions or becomes path finder of the societal malaises but also help the immediate society in finding the solutions to the various ills that it faces.
How legal education among the female sex may reduce domestic abuse among them?
Today women in our country are the victims of physical, emotional and sexual violence especially from the male members of their family. In other words, instances of domestic violence are increasing leaps and bounds in our family system. It is seen in such a scenario that; women are not safe neither inside their home nor outside of it. Thus, in such a scenario, the women are abused and thus a chaotic society is the order of the day. Moreover, the instances of female abuse and especially sexual abuse in the family is increasing in a larger proportion. The way out of the scenario, is not only in knocking the doors of the courts and thereby seeking justice, but also, the solution may certainly lie in the fact of educating oneself with the nitty grittiest of law and resultantly finding out that ‘justice is not only being done for the female sex, but also, at the same time the female sex realise that they have got justice from all the avenues and specially the avenues that their grievances must get’. Then justice will not only be seemed to be done but at the same time will be imparted in the real sense of the term. This in the long run will certainly promote the mandate of the judiciary, which is, of imparting justice in the real sense of the term. This may certainly be considered as a pathway to our desired egalitarian society which we want to promote in our country.
What the country needs in respect of female legal education?
Today, our country India, needs a mass movement with regards to female legal education wherein the parents and their daughters must be encouraged to take up the study of law as a branch of study in a dedicated manner. Today, women in our society faces multi-dimensional problems. The one solution although not being the only in this regard lies in educating the girl child or even encouraging the study of law among the female sex in our country. The study of law or the branch of law as a whole is based on the fact of parity. So, does the aims of the Indian society. The Indian society endeavours to bring in parity in all the spheres of its life. Hence the meeting point of the parity of law and the parity of the Indian society is in educating the female sex as a whole in general and especially educating the female sex with the branch of law in particular in this regard. All these developments will have a herculean effect even for the generations of Indians to come. This is because, as it is rightly said that, “when we educate a male, we educate an individual, but, when we educate a woman, we educate a generation.”
All in all, if we want to uplift the Indian society as a whole from the present state of affairs as is prevalent now, wherein mass anarchy and chaos has set in, in it we must turn our attention towards promoting law both as a subject of study as well as, as a dedicated independent profession among the legal fraternity. Yes, it is true that male sex has made much headway in comparative terms then the female sex both in the study of law as well as in the legal profession. Article 14 which itself is a fundamental right as enshrined in our constitution which promotes ‘equality before law and the equal protection of law”. In such a scenario it is the bounden duty of we all the Indians as a constitution abiding citizen of our country to allow the female sex of our country to prosper and flourish in every strata of the society including the strata of legal education. In this regard, the male sex will itself be benefitted if they leave a little bit of space, as is due for the female sex and thereby guide the female sex of our country as an experienced member of the legal arena so that, they i.e., the female sex too may come in terms with the legal affairs of the country in a vibrant and in large numbers. Then only will the branch of the study of law will enrich one and all in our country and in the long run will not only promote a sense of equality among the masses in the specific context of gender perspectives in the country but also will help us to make a headway to our much desired egalitarian society which is the dream of the most of we, the Indians.