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Sudha Bharadwaj, Menaka Guruswamy feature in 6th Harvard Law International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit
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Sudha Bharadwaj, Menaka Guruswamy feature in 6th Harvard Law International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit

Bar & Bench

Trade unionist and civil rights activist, Sudha Bharadwaj and advocate Menaka Guruswamy are among the women featured in the 6th Harvard Law International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit this year.

The exhibit aims to showcases“the astounding contributions of women around the world to the areas of law and policy.

This year’s edition features 21 women, who were nominated by the students, faculty or staff of the Harvard Law School.

Sudha Bharadwaj is a human rights lawyer, who is particularly known for her work in the field of labour law and workers’ rights in Chattisgarh. In August last year, she was arrested on allegations that she had played a role in the Bhima Koregaon violence which took place in January 2018. She continues to remain under arrest in connection with the case after a Pune court rejected her bail plea in October last year. 

Supreme Court lawyer, Menaka Guruswamy was among the forerunners who led the campaign for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India. In September 2018, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court read down Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code to decriminalise consensual sexual acts between homosexuals, thanks in part to the efforts undertaken by Guruswamy, who appeared for one of the petitioners in the case.

Guruswamy is a graduate of NLSIU Bangalore and a Rhodes Scholar. In September 2017, a portrait of Guruswamy was unveiled at Rhodes House in Oxford University. This was done at an event held in celebration of ’40 years of Rhodes women’, organised by the Rhodes Trust.

With the inclusion of Sudha Bharadwaj and Menaka Guruswamy in this year’s Portrait Exhibit, they have been recognised by Harvard as “powerful voices in their respective fields, whether they are sitting on a high court bench, standing in front of a classroom, or marching in the streets.”