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Why Is Law Not Considered A Good Career Option For Women? [Status Quo]

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By Saloni Mathur:

I was travelling from Jaipur to Patiala a day ago and let’s just say as a matter of custom of every train, a ‘drawing-room’ talk was organized in my cabin. By ‘drawing-room’ talk, what I mean is any place where people (here members sitting in the cabin) become active citizens and get into a discussion where they mostly criticize, sometimes appreciate the policies of our country, discuss corruption prevailing in the country and similar other things. One such member asked me my profession and I replied that I was a student, pursuing law. And as we Indians have a habit of giving free advice, he gave me an expression which showed his disappointment to hear that I was a law student and his expression indicated the opinion of many Indians that girl as a student of law does not make a good combination. Being a law student I was inspired to write and express my views about this issue as I had also faced this situation when I had expressed my decision for choosing law as my career option.

I will highlight two main reasons for which people have a staunch opinion that women should not pursue law which are as follows. Firstly, they think that if a girl studies law, she learns to argue which shall have an adverse effect on her and as well her family as she runs the home and a girl in our society is usually rather I should say, ‘always’ a portrait of someone who is quiet, calm and composed. Well, I doubt the criteria for making the above implication. Yes, she learns to argue but she learns to argue in a court room not in bedroom. Why would she engage herself in arguing if there is no point to argue? Moreover, why should not she argue if she feels something wrong is happening to someone or to herself? Does she not have a right to express her views?

Secondly, they think that law somehow fails to provide a ‘secured’ job to women. They say that litigation is not a good option for women as it involves a lot of research, building contacts, meeting kinds of people that renders it difficult for her to manage things and time. So it is always suggested to a girl, that judiciary is the best option for her as it is ‘safe’ and ‘secured’. But I do not understand the reason of people for having such an unreasonable thinking. What is that peculiar thing of litigation which is safe and secured for men but not for women? If she is fighting for a right cause, none of the above things matter. And as far as judiciary is concerned, I think, it is all a matter of skills and interest. The concept of security just lies outside its scope.

It is ironic that on one hand, various attempts are being made to remove gender inequality and to empower women by enacting and amending various legislations, while, on the other hand, this kind of discrimination regarding the capability of females, still prevails in the minds of many people. How are we going to remove such baseless thinking from their minds? I think after so much development, it is still very much a male dominated society where females are considered to be of weaker sex. Where is our right to equality which guarantees us no discrimination on the basis of sex and where is our right to freedom which guarantees us freedom to choose and practice any profession? I guess this is the situation where it becomes imminent for a female law student to ‘argue’ for her rights on this forum and not in the court rooms as they say “Well behaved women rarely make history”.

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  1. futire female lawyer

    First of all, thank u for writing such a nice post. I m worried bcoz i studied medical till 12th for this is what my whole family ever wanted n now i m ‘sick’ of it. I tried to explain n now they all r saying i m scared of the hard word of the ‘prestigious’ career n m not willing to take it bcoz its hard. The truth is i never wanted to do any such thing.
    Law as a profession facinates me n i dont know if i m write to what i m doing.
    Can i get ur email to talk to u about my situation ?
    thanks….

  2. Harini Kumar

    Thank you very much for giving such a motivational and inspiring words.actually I can feel your pain in these words which iam currently facing and your words are very much true so none of us can disprove it .I studied in a famous school till 12th and I took bio group after a great struggle I finished it with 92.3percentage and now I wish to take law as my career so my family find it difficult to accept it however I convinced them and iam not a money minded .I didnt take this profession for money and I want to do something back to my society I just want justice to win always and I will surely be in the side of truth only.actually after completing law I want to do criminology and wish to become a criminal lawyer.your useful words are seriously motivating me and many too thankz aloy for sharing your experience our country

    1. Harini Kumar

      Our country needs many more female lawyers like you and me thank u

  3. AaliyaNida

    i am thinking to perue my career as law ,but got few similar types of comments from people arround me..thanx for sharing your this expereince with us & i hope that we will prove them that womens can also be a good lawyer.

  4. hermionexmalfoy

    Hey there!
    I really liked your article and your thoughts inspired me a lot. Today for the first time in my life I had confusion and second thoughts about my career choice. Since I was a child I wanted to pursue law, there was no doubt in my mind. I always knew about the differing opinion of society against women in law but that never bothered me until now. I’m really confused as to what should I do?

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