Feminism: The Last Hope in Law, Dr. Sufiya Ahmed, Department of Law, BBAU

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Feminism: The Last Hope in Law, Dr. Sufiya Ahmed, Department of Law, BBAU

Justice DY Chandrachud, who is nominated as the successor of Justice U.U. Lalit as the next Chief Justice of India asserts that the feminist point of view should be incorporated into the law. His statement becomes motivating and extraordinary for the female protagonists fighting for women's rights at various forums. Not because it is being said by someone whose father was the longest serving Chief Justice of India and he is also nominated by Justice U.U. Lalit as his successor Chief Justice of India, but also because it is being said by a person who is known for his progressive and courageous decisions.

As he said,

"Law operates in pre-existing societal and gender codes, often contributing to the construction of gendered identities and as legal professionals, you should use deconstructive techniques to critique the existing legal philosophies and expose the ideological thinking that forms the sub-stratum of law… I would particularly advise you to incorporate feminist thinking in the way you deal with the law,

In fact, it is a truth that the inequalities and discrimination prevailing in the laws can be removed only through feminist philosophy, whether it is criminal laws or family laws. Patriarchal thinking is seen everywhere and in most cases, the judiciary has also been seen imparting patriarchal interpretation of laws in its decisions.

Justice DY Chandrachud also underlined the point that women are not adequately represented in the legal profession. But whenever they got the opportunity to work in this profession they have done exemplary work.

In a traditional patriarchal country like India, when such a person would become the Chief Justice of the country, who maintains equality and a dignified attitude towards women, then a ray of hope shines in the eyes of the women of the country. The women think that the mistakes of centuries may be rectified now.

As a Muslim woman and a teacher of the law, I also hope that the next Chief Justice will certainly try to remove the miseries, complexities, and injustices of Muslim Personal Law, that have been causing pain to Muslim women in this country for centuries.

It would not be an exaggeration to expect a judge who has given such historical and radical judgments, to liberate Muslim women from the discriminatory provisions of Muslim Personal Law.

Law does not operate in isolation, but it is also reflected in the performance of people in society and if these patterns of behavior become intolerable towards women, then the distortions start increasing in society.

The way Muslim women of India are facing dire circumstances today due to discriminatory provisions of polygamy, halala, extra-judicial divorce by Muslim males, and unequal-inhuman maintenance provision is indeed very disturbing. Interpreting Muslim family laws from a feminist point of view is the only way to get them to gender justice as guaranteed by the Constitution.

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