A virtual seminar titled "Feminist Lawyering: From Invisible To Invincible" organized by the Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum will shortly begin.
Senior Advocate Indira Jaising and Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan will be the speakers for the event.
The session begins.
Someone interrupts the webinar saying "feminism is cancer".

Organizers warn that no mischievous act will be tolerated.
Miriam Fozia Rahman, one of the moderators says this is all the more a reason to speaking about feminist lawyering.
Senior Adv Jaising asks the technical team to take care of hecklers/hackers before beginning.
Jaising: I need to really explain what feminist lawyering is.
Feminism and your biological sex are not to be conflicted with each other. I don't mean to say that I'm espousing the cause of women alone and that it is not because I am a woman, Jaising.
She refers to a judgement to speak about social emancipation.
The span of these issues cover social, political, economic and cultural rights. You cannot work on social issues without working on political issues and likewise.
I never go to Court thinking I'm going to lose this case. I go to Court thinking that I am going to win because I believe in my arguments. My arguments sprout from the Constitution of India, Jaising.
Does everyone have equal access to medicines amid Covid? No, says Jaising

Jaising recalls arguing for Sabarimala case. It was an intersection between religion and rights of women, Jaising. As a lawyer, you make the personal, political.

I, as a teenager, I have seen my own mother being treated as an untouchable when she was menstruating.
I made a bold argument with regard to rule of Sabarimala - not allowing entry to women of a certain age range. I called it as discriminatory.

When asked what happens to women during the age of 10-50, the male lawyers said "that thing". They could not say the term menstruation.
She speaks on representation of women. Only 7 Judges have been there in the Supreme Court in the past 70 years. I wonder if there is a link between the numbers 70 and 7, Jaising.
She begins speaking on issues related to infrastructure. Supreme Court was not designed with a vision that one day, the Court would be flooded with women lawyers. Up until two years ago, there was no creche in the Apex Court, Jaising.

This is what prompted me to file a plea.
No woman should compelled to choose between motherhood and profession, says Jaising.
Snr Adv Jaising concludes.

Adv Ramakrishnan begins.
Ramakrishnan: Feminism is certainly indicated to a breaking of stereotypes.
In matters of maintenance, right to property, so much has to come by. But merely because a woman is at home, does not mean she is entitled to lesser, Ramakrishnan.
Ramakrishnan: Misogyny is deep and widely prevalent in social media, just as we saw in the beginning. It starts when the best of us call our daughters as "liabilities".
Feminist lawyering is strengthened by debates. There are atleast two views when it comes feminism, Ramakrishnan.
Learn how to stand your ground and do not give up on your argument. Try to persuade the Judges with your line of argument, Jaising. Speaking your mind in a respectful manner is fabulous, she adds.
Many judges change their minds after listening to a good argument, Jaising says.
Court procedures can be more people friendly, says Ramakrishnan. Basic changes in criminal law have to come in terms of human rights aspect.
With regard to gender justice, Supreme Court should issue binding guidelines to courts with regard to what to say in a judgement while dealing with gender justice cases, says Jaising.
Binding guidelines and accountability of Judges is away to change. She recalls how even recently the Madras HC, in its Judgment asked a rapist to marry the victim.

Instead of saying, oh, she's ravished, you should say "she has been sexually abused", she adds.
The session comes to a close.

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