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Validating Inherent Power Within Women Is Real Empowerment

Real women's empowerment is about recognizing and validating the power already inherent within them

Justice Bellur Narayanaswamy Srikrishna, a distinguished Indian jurist renowned for his contributions to the legal landscape, is a champion of women’s empowerment. Justice Srikrishna served as a judge in the Bombay High Court and later became the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. His most significant impact, however, came as a judge of the Supreme Court of India, where he delivered several landmark judgments that have shaped Indian jurisprudence.

Beyond his judicial career, Justice Srikrishna is widely respected for his role in leading the Srikrishna Commission, which investigated the 1992 Bombay riots. His meticulous approach and commitment to justice earned him accolades both nationally and internationally.

As a legal luminary, Justice Srikrishna continues to influence legal thought through his writings, speeches, and participation in various legal forums. His expertise in constitutional law, coupled with his unwavering commitment to upholding justice and fairness, solidifies his legacy as one of India’s most esteemed jurists.

In a special interaction with The Interview World at EmpowerFest, organized by Tech Observer Magazine, Justice Srikrishna emphasizes the importance of women’s empowerment. He discusses the significant changes occurring in this realm, sheds light on the underrepresentation of women judges in the Supreme Court, and underscores the pivotal role of technology in empowering women. Here are the key highlights from his enlightening interview.

Q: How do you define women’s empowerment?

A: Genuine empowerment manifests when both men and women possess the autonomy to deliberate and act upon what is beneficial for their lives, devoid of dominance. This is true empowerment.

When discussing empowerment, it’s crucial to discern between past achievements and ongoing necessities. Despite the presence of women in prominent roles such as CEOs, speakers in the Lok Sabha, ministers, and judges, the discourse on empowerment persists. Empowerment isn’t merely about providing opportunities; it transcends that.

Now, the focus shifts from discussing empowerment to addressing its essence. While legally women may have equal rights, true empowerment hinges on societal perception. Genuine empowerment remains elusive, until we regard women as equals by their male counterparts, .

Empowerment of women doesn’t mean they occupy high-profile positions. This concept must permeate all levels of society. Reflecting on history, we witness the struggle for women’s rights, from being considered chattel to demanding suffrage. This historical perspective underscores the depth of the empowerment journey.

While legal strides have been made, the question remains: are women truly empowered if societal attitudes lag behind? Mere symbolic gestures won’t suffice; genuine empowerment necessitates a shift in mindset.

Even if a woman ascends to a leadership position, if male colleagues resist her authority, empowerment remains incomplete. The eradication of such disempowerment is imperative for progress.

Today, we observe strides in various fields, exemplified by the increasing presence of women in professions like law. Yet, numerical representation alone doesn’t signify empowerment; it requires acknowledgment of women’s rightful ownership of their spaces.

Q: How might recent developments be indicative of a paradigm shift?

A: Observing those around us at EmpowerFest reveals a crucial truth: individual autonomy is paramount. For instance, cast your gaze upon the women nearby—they exemplify independent thinking, a cornerstone of empowerment. When autonomy falters, empowerment wanes. But what exactly constitutes empowerment? It transcends mere bestowal of authority; instead, it hinges on the profound acknowledgment of their agency. Real empowerment lies in honoring their capacity to choose, to decide their paths unencumbered by external constraints. When we inhibit their ability to make choices, we dilute the very essence of empowerment.

Empowerment isn’t about instilling power; it’s about recognizing and validating the power already inherent within them. It’s about fostering an environment where their voices are heard, their decisions respected, and their autonomy celebrated. By embracing their choices, we not only affirm their agency but also contribute to a society where every individual, irrespective of gender, can thrive on their terms. This acknowledgment underscores the true empowerment of women—not in conferring power, but in cherishing their ability to shape their destinies freely and fearlessly.

Q: What factors contribute to the underrepresentation of women judges in the Supreme Court, and what strategies could be implemented to address this issue effectively?

A: The underrepresentation of women judges in the Supreme Court stems from a variety of factors. One significant challenge they face is the difficulty of maintaining their careers while also starting families. Historically, women were able to rely on familial support for childcare, but this dynamic has shifted, particularly in urban settings.

In the past, familial networks provided crucial assistance in balancing work and family life. However, contemporary circumstances demand alternative childcare solutions, which are often lacking in the Supreme Court.

To address this issue, proactive measures are necessary. This includes implementing recruitment and retention policies designed to attract diverse candidates, with a focus on women. Mentorship and sponsorship programs can also play a pivotal role in supporting women throughout their legal careers.

Furthermore, fostering gender parity in the selection process is crucial. Transparent and inclusive nomination procedures can help ensure that qualified women are adequately represented among judicial appointments.

Ultimately, raising awareness about the importance of diversity in the judiciary and fostering a supportive and inclusive culture within the Supreme Court are essential steps toward achieving gender equity on the bench.

Q: How is technology empowering women, and what are the key mechanisms driving this empowerment?

A: In contemporary times, the pervasive presence of women in the IT industry is unmistakable. Their adeptness and proficiency rival that of their male counterparts, evident in their ability to design innovative products and develop intricate programs capable of functioning not only domestically but also on a global scale. This proficiency is not merely theoretical; it’s observed in the efficiency with which they execute their tasks, ensuring the smooth operation of systems and the delivery of quality services.

Moreover, the IT sector’s inclusivity offers women substantial opportunities to assert themselves and compete on an equal footing with men. By embracing technology, women find themselves empowered to transcend traditional gender roles, breaking barriers and advancing professionally. Consequently, technology emerges as a potent force for societal equality, leveling the playing field and fostering diversity within the workforce. Notably, the IT industry stands out for its commendable commitment to gender inclusivity, boasting the highest proportion of female employees among all sectors.

The Road to Women’s Empowerment Passes through Autonomy and Inclusion
The Road to Women’s Empowerment Passes through Autonomy and Inclusion
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