In a letter written to Chief Justice (CJP) Saqib Nisar, the Women's Action Forum's (WAF) Karachi chapter has called for the CJP to issue a public apology for a recent speech in which he, quoting British politician Winston Churchill, compared a "good speech" to "the length of a woman's skirt."

During the speech, made on January 13, 2018 in Karachi, the CJP had quoted the former British prime minister. saying: "A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest."

The letter from the WAF admonishes the CJP for the remark, noting that the quote "reveals deep-rooted sexism and double standards women are held to which discourage women from joining the legal profession."

It highlights the "rampant sexism" faced by female lawyers which keep them away from the courts and says that the absence of women judges in the Supreme Court "proves the fact that women face extraordinary challenges in this profession."

"Statements that dehumanise and objectify women are not only derogatory and demeaning towards women but also contribute to the victim-blaming culture which is the biggest impediment in fighting crimes committed against women."

The letter says that the WAF agrees with the Women Lawyers' Association stating that the CJP's usage of women's bodies "to illustrate a point is a setback for women professionals."

The letter also asks the CJP to recognise sexism in the legal profession and take steps to provide a "harassment-free environment for women".

WAF, formed during General Ziaul Haq's martial law regime, is a group struggling for women's rights in the country.

Opinion

Editorial

Back to politics
Updated 29 Nov, 2022

Back to politics

PDM and PTI must realise that neither will get what they want if they keep fighting bitterly at every turn.
Election delay
29 Nov, 2022

Election delay

OF recent, leaders from the ruling PML-N have been dropping hints about a possible delay in general elections after...
Sugar woes
29 Nov, 2022

Sugar woes

IT’S that time of year again when cane growers get anxious over the delay in the commencement of the new sugar...
1971 in retrospect
Updated 28 Nov, 2022

1971 in retrospect

The point of no return came when the military launched Operation Searchlight in March 1971.
Gender-based violence
28 Nov, 2022

Gender-based violence

IT is a war without boundaries and seemingly without end. A UN report on femicide released on Nov 25, the...
Battle against dacoits
28 Nov, 2022

Battle against dacoits

THE Punjab police is clearly fighting a formidable, and so far losing, battle against the criminal gangs based in ...