SC Reserves 33% Seats for Women in Bar Association Committee


  • The Supreme Court reserved one-third of the seats in the executive committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for women.


  • The court directed that a minimum of three out of nine seats in the executive committee and at least two out of six senior executive members be reserved for women members of the Bar.
  • The bench clarified that this reservation will not bar eligible women members from contesting for other posts as well, and directed that one post of the office-bearers of SCBA shall be exclusively reserved for women by turn and on a rotation basis.
  • The reservation is only to guarantee a minimum and women members of the SCBA, subject to their eligibility, shall be entitled to contest the election for all the posts in the Executive Committee.

Supreme Court Bar Association

  • The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in India is an organization comprising lawyers who are enrolled as members of the Supreme Court of India.
  • It represents the interests of lawyers practising in the Supreme Court and aims to uphold the standards of the legal profession and promote the administration of justice.
  • It also engages in activities aimed at enhancing the legal system and protecting the independence of the judiciary.
  • The association is governed by its own set of rules and regulations and elects office bearers to represent its members and manage its affairs.

Representation of Women in Judiciary

  • Justice Beevi became the first Muslim woman judge of the Supreme Court, as well as the first woman Supreme Court Justice in Asia in 1989.
  • Since 1989, only 11 women have made it to the Supreme Court. Currently, there are only three female judges of the 33 Supreme Court judges.
  • Only 4.1% of all Supreme Court judges have been women, while the remaining 96% are men.
  • There are more women judges at the district court level than at the High Court level.
  • Justice Nagarathna is in line to become the first-ever female Chief Justice of India in 2027.
  • The appointment of Justices Kohli, Nagarathna, and Trivedi to the top court in 2021 created history, as this marked the first time that so many females were appointed to the SC in one go.
  • Earlier this year, the Supreme Court elevated 56 advocates as senior advocates, and out of those, 20 per cent were women advocates.
  • It was the first time in judicial history that 11 women advocates were given senior designation in one go.

Reasons for the Lack of Representation of Women

  • Historical Reasons: Historically, legal and judicial systems worldwide have been male-dominated, and India is no exception. The legal profession has traditionally been perceived as a male domain, and this mindset has persisted over the years.
  • Societal Expectations and Stereotypes: Societal expectations often dictate traditional gender roles, and some stereotypes cast women in roles that are seen as less compatible with the demands of a judicial career.
  • Educational Barriers: Limited educational opportunities for women result in fewer female candidates entering law schools and subsequently pursuing a career in the judiciary.
  • Family and Cultural Expectations: Cultural norms and expectations regarding women’s responsibilities within the family dissuade them from pursuing demanding and time-consuming careers, such as a judicial career.
  • Gender Bias and Discrimination: Stereotypes about women’s capabilities lead to their exclusion from consideration for higher judicial positions.
  • Networking and Mentorship Opportunities: Male-dominated networks and mentorship structures within the legal profession make it challenging for women to access the same opportunities for career advancement.
  • Appointment Procedure: The lower judiciary has a better representation of women than the High Court and Supreme Court.
  • That’s perhaps because entry to the lower judiciary is through an examination, while the High Court and Supreme Court are decided by the collegium.

Importance of Representation of Women in Judiciary

  • Gender Equality: A diverse judiciary ensures a more inclusive and representative legal system.
  • Fairness and Impartiality: Having a judiciary that reflects the diversity of the population helps in dispelling biases and promoting impartial decision-making.
  • Inspiration and Role Modeling: Women judges can act as role models, encouraging more women to pursue careers in law.
  • Access to Justice for Women: Women may feel more comfortable and understood when their cases are heard by judges who share similar life experiences and perspectives.
  • Legal Interpretation and Legislation: Women judges can provide unique insights into legal interpretation and the development of legislation, particularly in areas related to gender-based issues, family law, and women’s rights.
  • Their presence can influence legal discourse and contribute to the evolution of more gender-sensitive laws.
  • Global Norms and Commitments: Internationally, there is a growing recognition of the importance of gender diversity in all sectors, including the judiciary.


  • The lack of representation of women in the judiciary, combined with the traditional exclusionary attitude towards women, has led to a lack of diversity within the judicial system.
  • Therefore, efforts to increase diversity in the judiciary must be made to ensure a more equitable court system.
  • There is a requirement to enhance transparency in the judicial system. This will create more opportunities for women to prove their mettle and create a level playing field.