From left: Advocate Thandi Norman, Justice Mandisa Maya and Ms Nonduduzo Khanyile-Kheswa.
“The Impact of the Role of Women in the Advancement of the Judiciary: Tilting the Scales of Judicial Transformation?”, was the title of a recent public lecture hosted by the School of Law in partnership with UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division.
The aim of the lecture - which commemorated Women’s Month - was to provide students with insights to develop a broad insight in relation to (1) the socio-political and cultural space within the framework of South Africa’s democratisation in relation to the participation of women in the judiciary, and (2) the general challenges faced by the country which are a barrier to the achievement of the original objectives of the struggle of the Women of 1956.
High profile speakers included the Deputy Judge President, Justice Mandisa Maya; Councillor: KZN Law Society Managing Director: TKN Incorporated, Ms Nonduduzo Khanyile-Kheswa, and Senior Counsel: Society of Advocates, KZN, Advocate Thandi Norman, addressed various issues in relation to the theme.
Judge Maya said a diverse judiciary made for a strong society which would in turn create a strong democracy.
She noted that women were hardly ever granted an opportunity to be admitted to the Bar, suggesting that the Judicial Service Commission needed to correct the imbalance.
She also suggested flexible working hours for women in the profession to accommodate for family responsibilities and the prioritisation of gender equality in South Africa.
Norman said the profession had to be made attractive for students and the agenda for that started at UKZN.
The Legal Practice Act would provide solutions to these problems and enhance gender equality within the profession.
Khanyile-Kheswa echoed similar remarks in respect of difficulties experienced in the legal profession. She reaffirmed that issues pertaining to women should not be dealt with in their absentia - they needed to be present and take an active role in addressing the issues.
Thandiwe Jumo and Andile Mcineka