Justice Tahira Safdar just became the first ever female to take oath for the position of a Chief Justice in a Pakistani court. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar is said to have taken the decision of nominating her for the role at the Balochistan High Court (BHC) after it came to his knowledge that she was not being considered for the role because of her gender, despite being extremely qualified.
Justice Tahira Safdar was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court earlier today
Her appointment is definitely being celebrated by women across the country.
Heartfelt congratulations to Justice Tahira Safdar for become the first female Chief Justice of Pakistan. Your appointment has set a new precedent which will be an inspiration to all women aspiring for leadership roles. May you be successful in dispensing speedy justice.
— Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq (@AyeshaRaza13) September 1, 2018
Tahira Safdar took oath as Chief Justice Of Balochistan High Court. Such a happy and proud moment. 💕 #WomenPower
— Amna Cheema (@amnacheema55) September 1, 2018
First female Chief Justice of Balochistan takes oath, Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar was the first woman in Balochistan to be appointed as a BHC judge. pic.twitter.com/15GQUgr5jP
— Aniqa Nisar (@AniqaNisar) September 1, 2018
It is not difficult to see how she may have struggled in a society that is so deeply conditioned to ignore women and oversee their achievements
Despite 70 years of independence and the interconnectivity with the world due to digitalization, the masses are adamant about keeping women where they “belong” because the common belief is that they are not cut out to be competitive and their emotionality will come in the way of their decision making.
From a very young age, women are taught to internalize the specific roles that they are bound to play. They are taught to be polite and complacent again and again.
They cannot retaliate, they cannot choose and they certainly cannot offend anyone. It is the exact opposite of what men are taught. They are taught to cut-throat and honest, and these are the traits that allow them to not only move freely in the society but also avail the opportunities relevant to them. Whereas women just remain complacent and agree to the outlines set out for them.
Justice Tahira has previously served as the first female civil judge in Balochistan
Justice Tahira Safdar, however, is a woman who has been anything but complacent. She was the first woman civil judge in Balochistan back in 1982. She happens to be the daughter of a renowned lawyer Syed Imtiaz Hussain Baqri Hanafi. Her entire life has been a story of moving forward and destroying the molds set out by society for women. The fact that she did not remain silent about the injustice being done regarding the position of the CJ of BHC and went ahead to bring this to the notice of Justice Saqib Nisar shows how level-headed she is and understands her own capacity and what she deserves on the basis of it.
In fact, she is actually on the three-judge special court which is hearing the case of treason against General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
Justice Tahira Safdar’s appointment will, hopefully, be able to leave an impact on the people who refuse to educate their daughters
This particular development will have a great impact on the social setting of Balochistan – a province which is grossly neglected and has been poverty-stricken and underdeveloped for as long as we can remember
Socially this move alone will be able to change mindsets and encourage many young girls to think beyond what is outlined for them. This will encourage them to take up alternate routes in their lives and think of dedicating a good amount of their time to actually building a career rather than just settling down.
This should break barriers and set the precedent of women being at important positions which will push for more involvement of women in the system
Despite living in the 21st century and despite a supposedly modern outlook, several political parties are yet to acknowledge and work for the betterment of women in this country.
As far as the political impact of this move is concerned, Balochistan’s fight for autonomy continues. In the recent election campaigns as well, we have witnessed that no political party tried to engage the people of Balochistan. Successive governments have failed to provide them the autonomy that they deserve as a province of Pakistan. In light of these developments, it is important to match pace with the social developments because otherwise moves such as this will only remain to feel good initiatives which actually do not mean anything due to the lack of autonomy.
The precedent being set by CJP Mian Saqib Nisar is well thought out because no person should be left out of the system merely because of his/her gender. Moreover, allies among men who support women and minorities and their inclusion is exactly how a positive, evolved community functions.
The same thought should be extended to other provinces and their government and judicial setups.
cover image via timesofislamabad.com