Indeed ours is a patriarchal society in which, like in all other walks of life, courts and court complexes remain male dominated. Once Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said in his speech that no nation can rise to glory unless the women work side by side with their men, that no struggle can ever succeed without women’s participation. Our Constitution (Article 25) stipulates that, ‘All citizens are equal before law.’ As a result of this, women’s access to judicial bodies is increasing day by day. Many female judges serve on diverse courts in the country, they are working in Federal Shariah Courts, High Courts, District and Sessions Courts, Banking Courts, Accountability Courts, etc.

In spite of these achievements, women face considerable problems within the judicial and legal system. It is an undeniable fact that women are still barred from the judicial and legal decision making positions; and the courts and court complexes still remain the male domain which calls for more female representation within the judicial system, both as Judges and paralegal staff.

One must pay tribute to the Family Judges from all over Pakistan who spared no effort to dispense swifter justice in family related matters despite a plethora of problems and challenges, by being pragmatic, daring and resourceful. The Family Court Judge position is very sensitive as they have to deal with ‘family matters,’ such as ‘Preservation of Family,’ or voluntary marriage, divorce, child custody and child support, where ill-fated children are pulled ascender by the complex relationship between estranged couples. The Family Court Judges play a vital role in balancing these families and they need to be very vigilant and careful in taking decisions that affect the whole future of the children of these estranged couples.

HASHIM ABRO,

Islamabad, February 17.