Kolkata, Mar 30 (PTI) Former Supreme Court Justice Ruma Pal has said the first thing a young woman lawyer must do is to show her ability that she can speak in court and make herself visible.

Then people would be familiar with them, Justice Pal told PTI on the sidelines of a discussion on gender issue here last evening.

“I was telling the young woman lawyers among the audience here that the first thing you must do…you must show your ability that you can speak in court and then people will become familiar,” she said after the discussion.

‘The F-Revolution – Breaking Glass Slippers to Glass Ceilings’ was organised by Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival.

“But if you always stay in the back, you will not be noticed. You must make yourselves visible, women must make themselves visible,” Justice Pal, who had retired as an SC judge in 2006, said when asked about her advice to young women lawyers and aspiring girls in law.

Justice Pal, who had been elevated as SC judge in 2000, said there was a general tendency of underestimating a woman’s ability “…at least when I was a lawyer.” “Not only in her (woman lawyer) ability to understand, but in her ability to deliver – in other words to argue in court,” she said.

To another question, the former judge said, “I had retired from SC 12 years ago. But during my stint I had seen quite a few women who were very good, excellent. Meenakshi (Arora)… she was very good, Indu Malhotra was very good, Indira Jaising was very good.”

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act has been brought about because of Indira Jaising, she said.

About the discussion, she said it was “a reaffirmation that women are in fact more visible and holding positions of responsibility.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.