Xinhua: Growing “she-power” shines in the practice of law

A lawyer answers telephone calls through a platform of government service hotline “12345” to provide legal advisory service on women’s rights protection for citizens in Haikou, south China’s Hainan Province, March 7, 2020. (Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua)

LANZHOU, March 20 (Xinhua) — As a lawyer with over 30 years of experience, Zhang Lirong has seen the growing “she-power” in the noble profession of upholding justice over the decades.

Zhang, 57, is currently an attorney at a women’s rights protection service center under Lanzhou Women’s Federation in northwest China’s Gansu Province.

In addition to her job, Zhang leads an awareness campaign with a team of over 400 volunteers. She conducts talks on legal awareness and other public service initiatives for local communities and schools.

“Our center mainly focuses on matters involving the protection of rights and interests of women and children, offering legal consultation, assistance, and mediation services to those in need,” said Zhang, adding that they also have a 24-hour counseling hotline.

Zhang believes that her work affords her an opportunity to practice her social responsibilities and that public legal services are a vital component in building a law-based society. Over the years she has emerged as an inspiration, as an increasing number of female lawyers are joining the important cause just like Zhang.

“Women have an innate ability to handle issues involving emotions more delicately, such as marital and family disputes, while also taking care of the sentiments of the concerned parties,” Zhang said.

As of February this year, 36.5 percent of the total 6,920 lawyers in the province are women, statistics from the Gansu provincial judicial department showed. In 2021, 489 female lawyers were newly registered in Gansu, accounting for about 60 percent of the total new lawyers.

“Not only is the number of female lawyers handling routine cases increasing but also the number of those taking part in public legal services,” said 40-year-old Zhang Jinjin who became a law practitioner in 2008 and is now a partner at a law firm.

Sun Ying, 30, is a relatively young lawyer in this profession. She aspires to one day become a law firm partner who can offer legal aid to the public. “All men and women are equal before the law,” Sun said.

“As long as female lawyers like us do our bit, I believe we can synergize our efforts to bring the light and hope of justice to more corners of the world,” Zhang said.  ?