Pakistan’s Supreme Court’s first female judge Justice Ayesha A Malik is named among the 100 Most Influential Women by BBC.
Lists reflect the role of women at the heart of the conflict around the world in 2022. BBC highlighted the role of Justice Ayesha A Malik in safeguarding the rights of women including her “landmark judgment which banned the so-called two-finger test of rape victims” which was performed during the examination of sexual assault cases.
“Alongside her role on the Supreme Court, Malik also conducts training for judges around the world and has inaugurated conferences for women judges in Pakistan, encouraging the debate around including the gender perspective in the justice system”.
“Women must build a new narrative – one that includes their perspective shares their experience, and includes their stories,” BBC quoted Ayesha Malik as saying.
She was sworn in as the judge of the Supreme Court in January this year. Regarding her inclusion, the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed had said that he would not take credit for the elevation of Justice Ayesha A Malik to the Supreme Court. “She deserved to be a judge of the Supreme Court,” said Gulzar Ahmed.
Former Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry shared a picture of Justice Ayesha Malik taking her oath in the SC. Furthermore, Fawad Chaudhry called the picture a symbol of women’s empowerment.
“A powerful picture symbolizes women’s empowerment in Pakistan. I hope she will be an asset to our judicial hierarchy,” the Minister wrote.
Important to note, her appointment was a much-debated topic. Many lawyer activists rose up against the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik, favoring seniority over competence. They stated that the judge was fourth on the seniority list. Therefore, she should not receive the position of a Supreme Court judge. However, those in favor of her elevation pointed out that seniority was not a requirement for appointment to the apex court according to the Constitution.