Speaking at the felicitation organized by ‘Women in Law and Litigation’ for Supreme Court judge Justice Hima Kohli, Delhi High Court judge Justice Pratibha M Singh advised the women lawyers to dedicate their maximum time to the profession.
“Don’t seek sympathy from the court. Don’t tell how you will pick up your child. That stereotypes you,” said Justice Singh.
The High Court judge urged the women lawyers to ditch the attitude that one must sacrifice either work or family and instead, break stereotypes and devise ways to balance and multi-task.
“Be competent, give up Bollywood movies and parlour time. Dedicate to law. Pick your battles. Don’t fight with all,” said Justice Singh.
She went on to add, “A focus on specialisation, rather than a sacrificing attitude, is essential for women to progress in the field of law. Specialisation is helpful for women. Always keep a domestic help, always keep drivers. Don’t have a sacrificing attitude. Take children with you while briefing senior counsels and make them do their homework. This is what I did during my tenure.”
“Face the stress that may arise from that with a smile and perhaps, your child may feel mummy ‘ghar pe nahi hoti’ (is not at home) but one day he will be proud that you are a lawyer,” she added.
There Is No Glass Ceiling Now
Justice Pratibha M Singh also praised the Delhi High Court calling it the most cosmopolitan court where caste, religion, and marital status are irrelevant while delivering justice. She also stated that women who were designated as senior lawyers at the Court often had to work twice as hard than their male counterparts.
“It is not about glass ceiling anymore, there is no ceiling. I would like to tell the judges and lawyers of Delhi High Court, thank you for believing that women are not only good for passovers and adjournments,” Justice M Singh said.
She went on to add, “In such an environment, perhaps the pandemic has been a boon for women lawyers who can now appear virtually from home and have their own work space.”
Justice Singh cited the example of the first female judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice Leila Seth to remind everyone how far women have progressed in the field of law.
“Hard work and perseverance will pay off. As we go forward, nobody will come and wonder what happened to Justice Leila Seth in 1998. She was informed that there was a group of farmers in her court who saw the zoo first and then they were there to see a woman judge!” she added.
Supreme Court judge, Justice Indira Banerjee and Delhi High Court judge, Justice Rekha Palli also shared their opinions during the event in the presence of chief guest CJI NV Ramana.