Hafizabad district bar association obtains first female president
As a first step, the Hafizabad District Bar Association (DBA) elected a woman president. Khalida Shahid will assume the role of DBA president after narrowly winning 504-501 over her male rival.
According to some accounts, Ms. Shahid is the very first female president of a DBA in Pakistan.
This is the second time Ms. Shahid has run for the job, after an unsuccessful offer two years earlier. She also heads the Hafizabad section of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Hafizabad is located in Punjab.
Earlier this week, another woman, Justice Ayesha Malik, made history as the first female judge ever to be approved for the Supreme Court. Likewise, she narrowly won, with five of the nine members of the Pakistan Judicial Commission (JCP) voting to approve her appointment.
The appointment of Judge Malik highlighted the extent of the male-dominated justice system in Pakistan. The Pakistan Human Rights Commission (HRCP) found in 2016 that only around 4% of Pakistan’s High Court judges were women. In addition, only 17 percent of Pakistani lower and higher court judges are women (519 out of 3,005 judges nationwide).
In a statement on the historic appointment, HRCP President Hina Jilani wrote: “Tackling the gender disparity in Pakistan – and indeed other forms of class-based disparity, the ethnicity or religion – on the bench and in the bar deserves a more proactive and lengthy process. long-term approach that addresses structural discrimination and sexism in the legal community.