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Three female judges appointed to the Supreme Court – but it’s still an “old boys’ club”

Chief Justice NV Ramana with the four female judges in India’s Supreme Court

Three female judges appointed to the Supreme Court – but it’s still an “old boys’ club”

Chief Justice NV Ramana with the four female judges in India’s Supreme Court

Three female judges appointed to the Supreme Court – but it’s still an “old boys’ club”

Chief Justice NV Ramana with the four female judges in India’s Supreme Court

Three female judges appointed to the Supreme Court – but it’s still an “old boys’ club”

Chief Justice NV Ramana with the four female judges in India’s Supreme Court

India has never had a female Chief Justice. But this could change soon.

On 1st September, three women were appointed as judges in India’s Supreme Court. Justice Hima Kohli, Justice Bela M Trivedi, and Justice BV Nagarathna are the most recent appointments to the highest level of India’s judiciary, and the decision to include more female judges has been hailed as a historic moment for the country. They join the only other female judge currently sitting in the Supreme Court, Justice Indira Banerjee.

This is certainly progress, and it is right to celebrate. Yet there is still a long way to go. India’s Supreme Court is made up of thirty-three judges, presided over by one Chief Justice – currently Chief Justice NV Ramana. Last week, one out of those thirty-four was a woman. The new appointments bring that figure up to four.

That’s still thirty men, compared to only four women.

The judiciary is one of the central pillars of India’s democracy, and perhaps the only one that is still strong enough to stand up to an increasingly corrupt political leadership. It is essential that our Justices are people we can trust to uphold the law and the Constitution: people of intelligence and integrity, who have the necessary education, experience, wisdom, and moral courage.

It is also essential to include women, and to aim for equal representation. Four out of thirty-four? It’s a start, but it’s not even close to being enough.

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