Gender justice and the judiciary: emerging constitutional discourses in India

Mehak Bajpai
Student of 2nd Semester LL.M,
National Law University, Delhi.


It is impossible to live without and beyond one’s ‘gender’ today, for it comes in the package with your sex. Therefore, gender justice, is all encompassing of the gendered experiences that are a part of life in a society for everyone, and is meant to liberate people from them if they’re unjust. Since women happen to be one of the prominent minorities in India, and globally seen as a vulnerable group, gender justice is usually understood in terms of being just to them, sometimes at the cost of others. One of the key agents of social transformation have been courts in India. However, out of all the transformations, they have been a part of, their true participation in the matters requiring gender justice has been quite disconcerted. Even in the cases where the courts have upheld gender justice to be intrinsic to the constitutional culture of India, the adjudication on the same has not rendered effective results for us. Author cannot possibly write about all walks of life where women still await ‘justice’, but this piece is a cursory glance on how there is a dissonance between understanding of constitution among court and people, even today. This comes at a time where the Supreme Court’s decision on instant triple talaq has been praised globally, but whether it does or does not do gender justice, remains a question. Not only this, gender disparity remains an issue in both lower and higher judiciary even today. In addition, the issue of gender justice has always taken a back seat when it comes to religious freedom. In this backdrop, therefore, I will try two test two key assumptions in the light of various decisions of the courts in the country, over the years. Author’s key hypotheses for this piece are; the Supreme Court’s attitude towards women and their constitutional rights has been more paternalistic than empowering. Second, there is a visible disconnect between the constitutional, judicial and people’s idea of gender justice.

Keywords: Gender Justice, Women Empowerment, Human Rights, Judicial Activism

Preferred Citation

Mehak Bajpai, Gender justice and the judiciary: emerging constitutional discourses in India, The Lex-Warrier: Online Law Journal (2018) 4, pp. 159 – 167, ISSN (O): 2319-8338

Read the full paper