A little over 10% of the 2.55 crore cases pending in subordinate & district courts across India have been filed by women.
Six states have a higher percentage of women litigants than the national average (10.3%). At 3.8%, Gujarat has the lowest with just 65,000 of the 17.26 lakh cases in the state being those filed by women.
Though women comprise nearly half the country’s population and are often at the receiving end of family and property disputes, besides crimes, few of them move courts to seek redress.
This is borne out by the fact that just a little over 10% of the 2.55 crore cases pending in subordinate and district courts across the country have been filed by women.
A key aspect of pending litigation is that of the 90% cases filed by men, 70% are criminal cases, whereas among those filed by women, criminal cases add up to less than 50% despite widespread incidence of domestic violence and harassment against them.
The fact that nearly 90% of all cases are filed by men indicates the patriarchal structure of society where men continue to take decisions in matters of family and personal disputes.
Six states have a higher percentage of women litigants than the national average (10.3%).
High-income states like Gujarat, Delhi also fare badly
Andhra Pradesh tops the chart of such states with a figure of 16%, followed by Bihar and Punjab (15% each). Goa, Tamil Nadu and Chandigarh each have 14% cases filed by women.
Among larger states such as UP, MP, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, women litigants in lower courts account for 9.5-10.5% of total cases, almost close to the national average.
In states such as Haryana, Himachal, Jharkhand, Karnataka and West Bengal, cases filed by women in lower courts comprise around 12% of total cases.
Even states with higher per capita income, like Delhi and Gujarat, do not witness much litigation initiated by women. In fact, cases filed by women in these states are among the lowest in India.
Even in UP, which has one of the country’s highest pendency, there is a higher percentage of (10.55%) cases filed by women. The total cases filed by women in UP is 6.31 lakh while the total pendency in its subordinates courts is 59.86 lakh.
Other states where few cases have been filed by women include Uttarakhand (4.8%), Kerala (7%), Odisha (7.6%) and J&K (7.75%). In northeastern states, the trend is similar to the national average where cases filed by women constitute 10%-13%.