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Lack of female representation in the judiciary

By Shamim Bano
Karachi: City courts have only two female staff in the lower grade among thousands of male staff. Moreover, of the 9,000 practicing lawyers, only 850 are women.
Out of the lower staff positions at the City Courts, such as clerks of the court (COC), senior clerks, readers, junior clerks, bailiffs, and peons, only one junior clerk, Tabassum Zehra, is a woman. She works with senior civil Judge VI Seema Fasih in the district East court. Husana, a stenographer, is the only other woman who works at the same court. Zehra, who has a double Masters in Political Science, was appointed in 1994 in grade 5. After 15 years of service, she was promoted to grade 7.
The other three districts have no female staff in lower grade. Data from all four districts revealed that there is no female district judge. The only district judge East, Soofia Latif, was transferred to the Sindh High Court (SHC). It further shows in District Central, there are two female Additional District and Session Judges (ADJ) – ADJ-I Ameena Nazir Ali and ADJ-IV Naheed Iqbal. Among the 14 judicial magistrates (JM), there are four female judicial magistrates – JM-IX Sara Junejo, JM-X Rubab Fatima, JM-XII Zahida Parveen and JM-XIV Samina Ghori. There is no female senior civil judge in the strength of six in district south. Similarly, in district South, out of seven ADJs, only one is a woman (ADJ-I Hafiza Usman), while out of 10 senior civil judges, only four are women, Sr Civil Judge I Rasheeda Siddiqui, Sr Civil Judge II Akhter Sultana, Sr Civil Judge VIII Shagufta Sidiqui and Arjumand Aziz as senior civil judge X. Among the 17 judicial magistrates including one family court there are two female magistrates Uzma Khan as JM-VI and Fateh Mobin Nizam.
In district East out of six total Additional district and session two are females Rana Shamsi ADJ IInd and Munaawar Sultana as ADJ V. In the cadre of senior civil judge Seema Fasih, Senior civil judge VI is the only female working among six of the male judges.
While five of the female magistrates out of 20 are working in district East JM VIII Shahnaz Tanoli, JM XIII Aliya Malik, JM XVIII Naheed Jabbar, Razia Khattak JM XIX, Sadaf Asif JM XX in family courts. In district West out of five additional district and session judge there is no female. Among the 10 judicial magistrates there is only one female Lubna Mubashir JM X.Significantly, there are total numbers of five senior civil judges in district and all are females Moin Bano, Sarwat Sultana, Naushaba Qazi, Tasneem Shah and Suriya Mehboob.
Source: The News

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