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UN: Access To Justice For Afghan Women Limited

The United Nations says access to justice for Afghan women who suffer violence needs to be strengthened.

A UN report released on April 19, said only five percent of 110 surveyed cases were resolved through the judicial system, resulting in the criminal prosecution and punishment of perpetrators.

Most complaints of domestic violence are dealt with by mediation rather than prosecution, the report said.

It said women often choose mediation to resolve complaints of violence, partly because they lack faith in the justice system.

Financial dependency on men and a lack of certain rights means survivors of domestic violence were reluctant to seek criminal sanctions against the abusers, the report said.

The criminalization of adultery severely limits women's right to freedom of movement, and their right to leave an abusive environment, the report said.

Constitutional guarantees of equal rights and protection from violence are rarely applied in practice in Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP

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