"A woman lawyer can do very well in whichever field you choose. You can only make it with hard work and merit. Don't ever seek sympathy", Justice Prathiba M. Singh of the Delhi High Court said while speaking on the topic "Women Empowerment: Road Ahead" in Delhi.

Justice Rekha Palli of Delhi High Court, Advocate Monika Arora, Senior Advocate and ASG Chetan Sharma and Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar also spoke in the event organised by Adhivakta Parishad, Delhi.

Justice Rekha Palli in her address said that "there are a number of laws and reservations in place for women, however, the problem remains with implementation. Despite having female judges, some senior advocates, and some gentlemen advocates willing to support women, there are not enough women in the driving seats. Unless we have women in the driving seat, nothing's going to change in implementation. Some women stalwart needs to come forward and mentor the younger generation then women will get the courage to think that we women can also achieve."

"Believe in yourself and be persistent in efforts. The true empowerment will be on that day when we will say that there's no more firsts remaining to be achieved by women", Justice Rekha Palli added.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh commended the Delhi Bar where she practised as a lawyer before her elevation. "I didn't come from a law background, I was completely unknown in Delhi. The Delhi Bar needs to be commended in the manner in which it celebrates Indian-ness! Nobody asks you where you are from or discriminates. Delhi is a confluence of all Indians and we are all very lucky to be in this kind of city or Bar," she said.

Justice Singh also discussed about balancing family and litigation and said, "Women have many options, you can be contributing anywhere. A woman lawyer can do very well in whichever field you choose. You can only make it with hard work and merit. Don't ever seek sympathy."

On breaking the clichéd beliefs about female lawyers, Justice Prathiba Singh said, "Be clued into current affairs, read business newspapers. Women lawyers don't have to just practice family law. We have to work harder, no doubt about that."

She also pointed out how hybrid courts have proved to be a boon to the profession, especially for female lawyers. "The pandemic has had so many problems, but women have told me that they joined back the profession during virtual court. So, I think, hybrid courts are very helpful", Justice Singh said.

Justice Prathiba Singh also talked about women in the field of science and said, "It is important to talk about science. We need to encourage more women into STEM. In India, 43% STEM graduates are women. But women don't come into research and innovation."

Former Solicitor General, Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar addressed the gathering and said that "Women empowerment means "nari shakti". We have seen it in our lifetime from women close to us. Women walk equally with men today, and I hope they continue to move".

He highlighted women's ability to manage their home and profession together, "Men handle profession alone, it is women's duty to manage the home as well. That is our culture.. it is commendable."

Advocate Monika Arora spoke about the values of equality and non-discrimination imbibed in our Constitution and said that "We have one identity, as the constitution says, "We, the people of India". The constitution gives us the right to equality, freedom, dignified living. It binds us in fraternity."

"What is the reason that non-discrimination policy that is available in India, was not given in Pakistan and Bangladesh? The reason is Article 1, "India, that is Bharat." Men and women in India together fought for women's equality! The women in the west were not as fortunate! They had to fight. Till 1920, women didn't have the right to vote in the US", Monika Arora said.

She discussed Justice Leila Seth's journey and said, "Once more women join the profession.. this attitude will also improve. She concluded by saying, "women empowerment begins at home."

ASG Chetan Sharma said, "We should do away with cliched terms like empowerment. Who are you to empower her? She is "Shakti" herself. Let's celebrate women's day by saying, you are nobody to empower! If at all somebody needs to be empowered, it is you. Get these cobwebs off your heads. It is not a case of genderisation, just a case of reclamation."

During the event, the women working staff of the Delhi High Court Bar Association including Admin officer, Chief Librarian, Attendants and Sweepers were felicitated by Justice Prathiba Singh and Justice Rekha Palli for their contributions to the functioning of the judiciary.

The event was organised by a team headed by Advocate Jitesh Vikram Srivastava, President and Advocate Jivesh Kumar Tiwari, General Secretary of Adhivakta Parishad, Delhi and was attended by more than 550 lawyers, interns and various District Court and Delhi High Court staff from across Delhi.