As an aspiring lawyer, I personally feel that law is one of the best career paths for girls. Not only does it empower young women financially but also socially and politically. More conservative communities see law as a more favourable option for men because they think girls are too naive for the profession.
This, however, is not so. Secondly, the legal profession does not call for an extreme resilient personality. It only requires reading and writing skills along with, of course, hard work and persistence.
Women’s status has been relatively uplifted in the past few decades, but only to replace the old patriarchy with a new one. Women are still struggling for equal treatment as men, both in the domestic and public sphere.
Even the legal system is calling for amendments as it consists of loopholes that advantage violators of women’s rights. The very few laws that have been enacted for women’s welfare are gender blind.
Majority of the decisions and laws on women (for example, abortion laws) are being formed by men with patriarchal mindsets. This is one reason why women’s participation is of utmost importance to bring about more gender sensitive laws. Only when women enter the legal profession can they be the ‘subject’ of government policies and agendas and only then can we expect more favourable laws for women.
Legal education socially uplifts women in the sense that it informs them of the rights available to them by law. Women have a greater responsibility to be informed because they need to fulfill their role not just as citizens but also as stakeholders of women’s issues.
Therefore, the first step of solving problems regarding gender discrimination is to first educate oneself about the existing legal set-up. In fact, a legal education does not just offer knowledge about law but also offers opportunities to analyse their practical implications.
A degree in law helps women to step out in the public sphere where a wide variety of career options await them. Apart from litigation, law graduates can opt for corporate jobs, administrative service and academic-related professions.
Lawyers also find space in the publishing field, where they can write, edit and do research on legal databases or online content. More importantly, after studying law, women can become policy-makers and social workers and bring about meaningful changes in society.
A version of this article appears in print on October 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.