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Stats: 2,038,655 members, 4,367,944 topics. Date: Sunday, 22 July 2018 at 03:39 PM
|Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by PDPGuy: 6:37am On Apr 17|
As an intern attached to a court in Nigeria, I witnessed how female counsel were mandated by judges to indicate their marital status while announcing appearance as opposed to their male counterparts.
The most painful part is the manner Judges ask the question and the derision (sure, from the male folks in courtroom). If the female counsel tries to evade the apparent embarrassment; the presiding Judge who often attempts to justify the practice would further ask ‘Miss or Mrs or would you prefer to be referred to as an Esquire?’ or ‘please let us know when you are available or off market, you never can tell there could be a prospective suitor …’. Expectedly the male counterparts are thrilled and always show gratitude by prolonging such conversation in a manner that massages their ego. Little wonder, some men expect women’s education to end in kitchen and the infamous “the other room”.
Years have passed and I still wear the shoes, I must have grown a thick skin to stand such discriminatory environment. Every morning, I announce appearance in court, ensuring that I mutter the suffix Miss after mentioning my name thus: J. I. Ugwu ‘MISS’. This is to prevent drama or the court being torn in two like I witnessed in some situations where female lawyers fruitlessly attempted to go against such discriminatory and debasing legal tradition. Slowly, culture and sentimental attachments to titles have made way to confuse the legal system. One wonders the essence of a female lawyer announcing appearance in court with ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs’ titles or worst with ‘Esquire’, this is not applicable to the male counterparts as only ‘Mr.’ in exclusion of ‘Master’ is used, also male lawyers are not addressed with any feminine title as is the case when women are addressed as ‘Esquire’ (a male title).
Why can’t I for instance announce appearance as J. I. Ugwu with no title (esquire, miss or mrs)? If there is need to state such titles as Mr./Miss/Mrs, why don’t we use Mr. and Ms respectively as both are neutral terms for each gender, and usually don’t arouse any sense of stereotype. For instance, there are many lawyers who are advanced in their biological age but remain unmarried by choice or circumstance, it may appear demeaning when only the female counterparts in such instance are consequently and constantly reminded of their marital status by the use of Miss or Mrs in an open court. A divorced female lawyer once left the courtroom feeling embarrassed after she literally made a public announcement of a failed marriage when she announced appearance. Immediately announcing her appearance, many colleagues passed notes across to her while others sent messages to her, asking ‘what happened?’
Today, women in positions of authority in the profession whether as law professors, practicing lawyers , senior advocates , or judges, are still comparatively small in numbers; and the issue of whether as women they have any real power remains a moot point. For example, how many women called to Nigerian Bar each year are in courtroom practice? How many of those in active practice are partners in a firm? How many women have become Attorney General of States and the Federation? How many are Senior Advocates of Nigeria? How many of the elected executives of Nigerian Bar Association at the state and national levels are women? During my research, it was appalling to find that there has been only one female National chairman/president of the association since its inception which dates back to 1900, the case of poor female representation equally affects the association at state level. Out of over 475 Senior Advocates it’s worrisome to state that the women amongst them are approximately 20. Is it truly a man’s world? Womanity have come of age in the world career and Nigerian Bar Association should not be left behind. There is call on rethinking the role of women in Nigeria for a sane, less corrupt and lawful society.
The law perhaps has the foundation of discrimination. This is because women’s active participation in law making over the centuries has been comparatively low. The absence of women as active participants in institutions of the law means that women’s perceptions, women’s consciousness and women’s ideas about their reality have played a very little part in the creation of the systems and ideas of the law or in the view of the world reflected in the artifacts of the legal system’s decided cases. Dorothy Smith poignantly described the effect of women’s exclusion from the institutions that create our culture, including the institutions of the law and of politics as being one where the perspectives, concerns, interests of only one sex, one class and one race are represented as general.
Impressively, female law students and lawyers in the profession this century have received the same professional education and training as men. The success at qualifying and working as professionals has depended on her ability to manipulate the concepts and the processes of the system to “think like a lawyer”. Sadly, ‘thinking like lawyers also means thinking like men’. This has sometimes even been explicitly (if not unwittingly) acknowledged by those responsible for our education; a male professor once bestowed on a female student what he considered to be the ultimate compliment for her. “You think more like a man than any woman I have ever taught”. Women often fall victims of such discriminatory compliments, not just at the level of law school, but throughout her professional career.
A woman’s success in the profession still depends to a great extent on her excellence at using the male idioms. It is simply because the male idiom is still by and large the only one in which legal discourse is conducted. Such thoroughgoing socialization in the male norms of the profession has for years, made it unlikely that a woman could be highly successful in it by its term and also be an avowed feminist.
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|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by akum78: 7:21am On Apr 17|
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by Sarang(f): 7:21am On Apr 17|
We need equality in this country..
Don't quote me if you have the wrong idea of equality. We just need to respect everyone. Please check my signature
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|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by Adewalex2016(m): 7:21am On Apr 17|
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by TrumpDonald2(m): 7:24am On Apr 17|
Whether we accept it or not, such discrimination is not ending anytime soon. This is Africa (Nigeria) where we have that mentality that the pride of a woman is her husband and the highest achievement of a lady is to get married.
Such discrimination is almost everywhere not just in the legal profession. So every woman in that category should just try and be strong. You have to develop a thick skin so as to be able to overlook it. This is because it will always come up.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by skarlett(f): 7:25am On Apr 17|
No matter the level of exposure, Nigeria is still largely patriarchal which is why after decades, the nation's development is neither here nor there. It's archaic to even think that instead of addressing the issues in court, a judge is more interested in knowing the marital status of the female lawyer when the same cannot be done to the males. That's gender discrimination of the highest order and it has got to stop.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by CAPSLOCKED: 7:25am On Apr 17|
THESE ARE THE TIMES WE NEED THE EQUALITY ADVOCATES MORE...
TOO BAD THEY'RE TOO BUSY BASHING "BROKE BOYS" AND "OLOSHO" ON THE INTERNET.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by Notmyproblem: 7:27am On Apr 17|
Why do people erroneously believe that it is a man's world we live in? Take the legal system for instance; the system has been harsh on men than it is on women etc
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|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by malware: 7:32am On Apr 17|
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by KillaBeauty(f): 7:35am On Apr 17|
Okay I’m all for better opportunities for women and the right type of feminism but this article is just a disjointed, sentimental mess.
For instance, there are many lawyers who are advanced in their biological age but remain unmarried by choice or circumstance, it may appear demeaning when only the female counterparts in such instance are consequently and constantly reminded of their marital status by the use of Miss or Mrs in an open court.
Smh one moment you’re preaching equal opportunities for women and the next you’re making it seem like an unmarried elderly woman is almost as bad as a curse or is something to be sad about, as if it couldn’t have been a personal decision. I don’t understand. I was relating with the article from the start but the bolded part just turned me off immediately. Lady, you just shot yourslef in the foot.
And I feel like they ask you for your appropriate title in order to be able to address you properly, not to know your marital status. It’s a shame that they do this inappropriately and make inappropriate jokes about it. If someone mistakenly refer to you as a “Miss”, you’d be quick enough to correct them and tell them you’re a “Mrs” and probably feel offended at their mistake.
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|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by Lusewe: 7:35am On Apr 17|
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by lanaVello(m): 7:40am On Apr 17|
Fumny how females are mostly the best students out of l aw school..
The op erred though, esquire is not a title for males at least not in the advocate sense. Its a title used for lawyers regardless of gender, since the courts have precluded the use of Barrister
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by obict: 7:47am On Apr 17|
The writer forgot to also tell her audience that in recent time, there are more female judges than males. The issue of adding miss or Mrs has long been settled unless the writer is ignorance of rulings on that. My dear J I ugwu, there is no law that limits females from contesting NBA chairmanship position. It's high time feminists stop the blame games.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by xtervaganza(m): 7:49am On Apr 17|
Another oloriburuku feminazi.
In a country where we have female chief judge, attorney general and SAN you're here talking nonsense
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by 1StopRudeness: 7:51am On Apr 17|
They claim they want equality while deep down what they want is special treatment....
The society so much favours women I begin to wonder how is it a man's world?......
They are the ones holding them selves back...ask a woman why there has never been a female president in Nigeria and she will tell you the men hasn't given us a chance......I don't understand... should men be prohibited from contesting in a particular round of election just because women want to be given chance??
Tell them now that because of equality, women will no longer get paid if they go on maternity leave...they will cry u a river....nature has made us differently, there's no how these differences won't come up....if a judge decides to be a jerk, that's human nature for u, there a female jerks everywhere too....
They should deal with their issues and not blame everything on gender equality and "men world syndrome"..men too deal with their issue nobody gets anything on a platter of gold cos they r men ,men get insulted too and bullied..
that's how they've messed up the UK law in terms of sex offenders..they have so much favoured women in that country that car insurance for women is cheaper than men.women pay less for a while of services.
we went for a charity work in one of the prisons in London...and 85% of the prison inmates on count of rape charges are there cos of this funny laws..ask who did they rape....their girlfriends and wives....a woman can wake up tomorrow and claim u raped her lastnight without any sign of struggle on any part of her body....and that's the end..
Later they will be saying it's a man's world and they are being victimised because one a couple of men decided to be jerks..
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by 5thElement(m): 7:51am On Apr 17|
Why would anyone want to be a lawyer anyway?
Lawyers! Wetin dem dey do sef?
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by princeking2(m): 7:52am On Apr 17|
As sad as it may seem, I want to state without sentiments that the world revolves around Men, its a Man's world.
Take a deep and unbaised study, Socially, politically, religiously and even economically, Women's height of success is largely dependent on Men.
We can try with vigour to bridge the gap but will record non-significant success. Why?
Because from the beginning it was not so.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by Drinkwater(m): 7:54am On Apr 17|
Unnecessary gender sensitivity.. Grow up
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by PDPGuy: 8:09am On Apr 17|
The country is yet to have a female AGF.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by Lxgking(m): 8:11am On Apr 17|
Nice expository...thoroughly enjoyed... But, most times women wait for things to be handed to them gracefully, while they can always stand up/challenge for the things they believe in / want, this is evident in lack of women participants in school politics(course rep/project leader/group leader); when no one is as a matter of fact fighting them not to........at the end of the day, its now increasing worrisome that whenever a women is not happy about something, she always nails it on some form of disparity/inequality/discrimimation shown to her by the male folks and always ends up trying to assassinate that concept "male".
Its high time some females realise that nobody is fighting them, all those 50-50/gender equality are stupid, because what women want is to have the benefits of equality, n also the benefits that comes with being a female
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by Positiveminds(m): 8:11am On Apr 17|
My friend, go get married and stop whipping up gender sentiments.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by Seahawk: 8:23am On Apr 17|
You folks are a lost cause if you can’t understand the simple message in this post
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by phemmyfour: 8:28am On Apr 17|
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by 1StopRudeness: 8:32am On Apr 17|
Everybody interpretes information differently...theres no reason to call pple lost cause...just because they are not viewing things from ur exact angle...
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by bishop101(m): 8:32am On Apr 17|
I think the answer to this equality lies here permit me to quote a bible verse Genesis 3:16. No matter what women do they can't equal man. Its a natural principle
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by folake4u(f): 8:45am On Apr 17|
We fry akamu
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|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by folake4u(f): 8:46am On Apr 17|
I can see AngryArmani viewing .
When I finish in 2years time, I hope to break that chain and be at the peak of my career. So help me God.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by GraGra247: 8:48am On Apr 17|
You totally completely nailed it. Please check my profile. You represent my stand 100%.
They want superiority and not equality cos the society also favors them in many ways where it disfavors men yet men don't complain.
Just check the #metoo campaign. Women sexually harass men and whole world is quiet. Reverse case and men are unleashed life and career destroying consequences totally not commensurate with crime committed.
Actresses uses movie moguls to rise to fame and become multi millionaires and 20 years later they claim victims of sexual abuse and everybody says its right.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by GraGra247: 8:56am On Apr 17|
You totally nailed it. I support gender equality but not this sham method of finding fault where there's no fault.
Once a feminist begins to dislike men they begin to see all their attempt to complement women in a negative light.
They unconsciously begin to seek "superiority" and not equality.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by isaiah9(m): 9:06am On Apr 17|
1StopRudeness:God.. i couldn't have said it better.
|Re: Women Lawyering In A Man’s World - Jennifer Ifunanya Ugwu by imitateMe(m): 9:10am On Apr 17|
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