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UN Report: Afghan Legal System Failing Women

  • VOA News

FILE - Afghan women's rights activists carry the coffin of Farkhunda, an Afghan woman who was beaten to death and set alight on fire March 19, during her funeral ceremony in Kabul, March 22, 2015.

FILE - Afghan women's rights activists carry the coffin of Farkhunda, an Afghan woman who was beaten to death and set alight on fire March 19, during her funeral ceremony in Kabul, March 22, 2015.

A new United Nations report said Afghanistan's judicial system is still failing women, even with the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban out of power.

The report released Sunday said only 5 percent of cases of violence against women result in punishment for the criminals.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said at a Kabul news conference, "Interviews with women and girls subjected to violence revealed that negative perceptions of the justice system as slow, corrupt and distant continued to discourage women from pursuing criminal prosecution of the perpetrators."

The reports also said many Afghan women are financially dependent on the men who attack them.

"A woman who complains to the authorities about violence and is forced to leave the marital home that is property of her husband often has nowhere to go," Simonovic said.

Afghanistan's constitution guarantees equal rights for women. Educational and job opportunities for women have improved in recent years.

But the report found cultural and family pressure, along with alleged corruption and abuse of power by judicial officials, leaves many women feeling as if there is nowhere they can find justice.

U.N. officials urged the Afghan government to strengthen access to justice for women by adopting institutional and policy reforms, and enforcing laws protecting them from violence.

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