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High Court Judge – Fathima Dawood – Eastern Cape Division of the High Court

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, for our series on women in the judicary, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to High Court Judge Fathima Dawood from the Eastern Cape division of the High Court. This series is dedicated to celebrating Women’s Month. Long before becoming a judge, Fathima Dawood was passionate about justice and coming to the aid of others. Her journey into the legal system was not easy. Her first hurdle was convincing her family to allow her to pursue a tertiary education and overcome traditional views that saw women as homemakers. As a trailblazer she contributed to changing social perceptions about women and helped opened opportunities for more women to realise their ambitions. We consider some of the transformation and support mechanisms that are enabling women to become judges and importantly retain them. Judge Dawood illustrates some of the actions undertaken by the National Association of Democratic Lawyers which highlights the plight of vulnerable members of society. For example taking justice to people, not just offering free services but ensuring that people in need can access justice. Another instance concerned a prison that permitted children under the age of three to remain with mothers serving their sentence, which speaks to issues of child development, adverse effects of growing up in a confined space,  and the role of mothers as primary caregivers. We address the role of support systems to enable career development and Judge Dawood reflects on the impact her mother had on her life and calls upon the sisterhood of women to help each other rise. Tune in for more…

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