Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Thursday said it was unfortunate that only 17 of 37 women recommended by the Supreme Court collegium were appointed as High Court judges, while the other names are pending with the government, PTI reported.

He was addressing an event in Delhi on the occasion of the International Day of Women Judges.

Ramana said that the appointment of women judges has more than a symbolic importance. “They bring to the law a different perspective, one that is built upon their experience,” he added. “They also have a more nuanced understanding of the differing impacts that certain laws may have on men and women.”

He also proposed reservation for women students in legal education to ensure 50% of the judges in the country are women. “The legal profession still remains male dominated, with severe under-representation of women,” the chief justice said.

He noted that Telangana with 52%, Assam with 46%, Andhra Pradesh with 45%, Odisha with 42%, Rajasthan with 40% of women among judicial officers have done well with reservation for women. “I strongly feel that the policy of providing reservation to women needs to be replicated at all levels and in all the states,” Ramana said.

The top court judge also called for appointment of more women judges from rural backgrounds, saying that the atrocities suffered by many there is either “underreported or unnoticed by many”, the Hindustan Times reported.

The judge observed that gender gap in judiciary also stops women from reporting crimes. A strategic investment in a diverse judiciary, he said, will bring in exemplary changes in getting justice too.

Ramana said his reference to German philosopher Karl Marx’s “women of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains” in September was projected as an instigation to revolt. “If giving women their due share is a revolution, I would be very happy to be branded as a revolutionary,” he added. “I whole heartedly welcome such a revolution.”