In a historic first, the Lahore High Court Bar Association elected Sabahat Rizvi as its secretary, on Saturday.
Rizvi was elected to the post after she bagged 4,310 votes while her rivals, Mian Irfan and Qadir Baksh Chahal got 3,745 and 2,627 votes, respectively.
Another female candidate Rabbiya Bajwa made it to the post of vice president of the association, with 3,590 votes.
The candidatures were welcomed by a majority of the legal fraternity. Both women are known for their progressive approach and struggle for human rights.
Speaking prior to the polls, Rizvi recalled that she faced a bit of a challenge to establish her candidature for the slot as she began her campaign.
According to her, a lawyer should not be judged on the basis of his or her gender in the bar politics. She had hoped that she would be able to make history and clinch the coveted post.
Rizvi is a senior partner in the law firm of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) member Abid Saqi.
Rabbiya Bajwa, a senior member of Hamid Khan-led Professional Group, was elected as the bar’s finance secretary in 2006.
The new vice president, was at the forefront of the lawyers’ movement for the restoration of the judiciary during the the rule of the former president, late Pervez Musharraf.
She was also a polling agent of former justice Wajihuddin Ahmad, who contested the presidential polls against then president as a representative of the legal fraternity and others supporting the stance.
It was only the office of finance secretary that was earlier considered acceptable for women candidates, but things seem to have changed ever since.
The outcome of the elections have won praise from the community and the public in general. Many have termed it a new beginning for the bar and for other women contestants in the country.