It's International Women's day! The colour to celebrate today is purple. Surprisingly International Women's Day started as far back as 1908. In some countries it is a national holiday and is celebrated as an equivalent to mother's day.
Perhaps today's International Women's Day is the most relevant one yet following the seismic Times Up campaign in Hollywood and the movement towards narrowing gender pay gaps. This year's campaign theme is #PressforProgress which highlights feminism and international efforts to achieve wide-scale gender parity.
So when it comes to women in law, where did we start and where are we now?
There is great history project known as the First 100 Years supported by the Law Society and the Bar Council in England which is charting the journey of women in law since 1919. It is sponsored by a charity founded to inspire the future generation of women in the profession. The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 paved the way for women to become lawyers for the first time.
Nearly one hundred years on, the legal profession in Scotland is well populated by women. Looking round the room at the most recent Scottish Family Law Association conference which is held each year in November, it is clear to see that most family lawyers in Scotland are women. As part of the family law team at Brodies, I am proud to say I am one of ten female lawyers in our team, so I am glad to form part of the legal profession where there appears to be no lack of parity. It is clear to see we have come a long way since 1919, but with more #PressforProgress hopefully we will see more areas of the legal profession populated by women and the question of gender assigned to the past.