Lahore      -      Punjab Judicial Academy (PJA) under the auspices of the Lahore High Court held the 3rd Punjab Women Judges Conference which focused on the role of women judges in developing the gender perspective.

As the chief guest Senior Puisne Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed stressed a need to have true representation of women on all levels of the judiciary. He stated that women judges play a crucial role in the development and encouragement of women in eliminating gender bias, and that gender perspective is the cornerstone of a society that values equality. He applauded the efforts and work of the women judges and promised to work towards improving the court environment, making it more accessible and sensitive.

Other guests included Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan, Chief Justice Lahore High Court, Honorable Mr. Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Judge LHC and Honorable Mrs. Justice Ayesha A. Malik, Judge LHC.

LHC Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan spoke on the issues of gender discrimination, and stated that the LHC was in the process of establishing gender-based violence (GBV) and juvenile courts throughout Punjab. He emphasised the need to improve accessibility to courts and stated that efforts were being made to improve the court environment.

Punjab Judicial Academy Director General Habibullah Amir and Director ProgrammesJazeela Aslam recognised the efforts of Justice Ayesha A Malik for the initiative which focused on gender inclusivity and all its goals. Furthermore, she talked about gender sensitivity trainings conducted by the PJA. She provided historical background of the Punjab Women Judges Conferences and how it led to the creation of gender equality policy and Punjab’s  first Gender Based Violence Court. She also emphasised that the conference was exclusive to Punjab and that it aimed to create greater awareness of the gender perspective and a higher sense of professionalism amongst the judiciary.

Justice Ayesha A Malik in her speech emphasised the importance of the gender perspective in upholding the rule of law. Moreover, she focused on the use of gender neutral language, and providing a more gender sensitive court environment for women, children and the differently abled. She stated that gender perspective is an all inclusive concept which is not just for women, but for all judges, and that women judges have a role to play in bringing this  perspective to the forefront.