An All-Female bench to hear cases at the Supreme Court

For the third time in its history, the Supreme Court recently appointed an all-female bench. The first all-female bench was established by the Supreme Court in 2013, and the second one occurred in 2018.

Women Judges in Supreme Court

  • Justice M. Fatima Beevi, who retired from the Kerala High Court as a judge, was appointed as the first female judge of the Supreme Court in 1989.
  • Since its founding, India has only had 11 female Supreme Court judges, and there has never been a female Chief Justice of India. 

There are now only three female judges on the top court

  • Justices Trivedi, Kohli, and B V Nagarathna.
  • In 2027, Justice Nagarathna will become the first female chief justice in the nation.

Status of Women in Indian Judiciary

Data of representation

High Courts

  • Women make up 11.5% of the judges on High Courts.
  • Only 17 of the 37 women suggested by the Supreme Court Collegium for appointment as high court judges have been chosen so far; the remaining names are still being processed by the federal government.
  • Collegium has thus far recommended 192 candidates for the high courts.
  • Of these, 37 (or 19% of them) were women. 

Subordinate Courts

  • About 30 percent are women judicial officers in the subordinate courts.


  • Of the 1.7 million advocates, only 15% are women. 

Bar Council

  • There is not a single woman on the Bar Council of India; only 2% of elected representatives in the State Bar Councils are female.

Importance of Women’s participation in Judiciary 

Need for diversification

  • Institutional changes brought about by diversity are good, and the judiciary needs to be more diverse.

Balanced justice delivery system

  • The justice delivery system will be significantly improved by the presence of women judges and attorneys. 

A methodical and sympathetic attitude

  • Increasing the number of women in the judiciary could contribute significantly to a more impartial and sympathetic response to matters involving sexual assault.
  • Gender sensitization has been a topic of discussion frequently, particularly in cases when male judges failed to demonstrate compassion for the female victims.


  • If the judiciary is seen as a bastion of privilege, elitism, and exclusivity, people won’t trust it.
  • Because of this, having women in the judiciary is crucial to its legitimacy.


More in corporate than in decision making

  • Women are outnumbering men in law school classrooms and are increasingly joining the corporate sector, but their underrepresentation in such decision-making institutions is deplorable.

Way Forward

  • Maintaining and promoting gender diversity in the higher judicial branch with a set proportion of female judges will help India’s judicial system become gender-neutral.
  • By raising awareness and emphasising inclusivity, it is necessary to bring about institutional, social, and behavioural change among India’s population.
  • As the guardian of equality and a profession dedicated to upholding rights, the legal profession ought to serve as a model for gender equality.
  • Modifying a court’s long-established demographics may encourage the institution to view itself differently and pave the way for future modernization and reform.
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