Inadequate representation of female attorneys in the legal profession in South Africa
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Female law graduates have significantly increased in South Africa over the past few decades. Yet, female attorneys are still underrepresented in the legal profession. Historically, men have dominated the legal profession and female attorneys frequently experience bias and discrimination that impede their ability to develop in their careers. Using a desktop research method, this study examined the underrepresentation of female attorneys in the legal profession in South Africa. The study reviewed current literature on the topic, as well as case law, constitutions, legislation, journal articles, and other pertinent materials. It sought to discover the extent to which female attorneys in South Africa are represented in a primarily male-dominated legal profession. It indicated that the scarcity of female attorneys is due to a combination of systemic hurdles, gender discrimination, and societal customs. These factors have significant impact on female attorneys’ professional experiences, career trajectories, and overall job satisfaction. Based on the review of the literature, the study recommends several potential solutions to address the issue, including implementing policies that address gender bias, providing mentorship and support for female attorneys, and increasing opportunities for female attorneys to advance into leadership positions. This study provides valuable insights for legal practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders interested in promoting gender equity and diversity within the legal profession in South Africa.