UN seminar in Bamyan addresses the issue of women’s access to justice in Afghanistan

A large number of prosecutors, lawyers, human rights experts, police officers, religious scholars and women’s rights activists participated in a day-long seminar organized by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in central Bamyan province on Tuesday.

The subject of discussion was women’s access to justicein Afghanistan and how it can be improved.

The participants at the seminar said the economic dependence of women and the weak legal framework to protect their rights are major factors impending justice.

“The main factor and vulnerability for women is economic dependence that forces women to keep silent and accept any sort of violence,” said Nahid Rezai, a female police officer in Bamyan.

Rohullah Frogh, Head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Right Commission in Bamyan, urged the government and international community to design and implement programs that generate income for these women and directly benefit them.

UNAMA Human Rights officials underscored the major challenges and key recommendations of a recent UN report, Justice through the eyes of Afghan women, released in April this year.

The participants at the seminar said the economic dependence of women and the weak legal framework to protect their rights are major factors impending justice 

The report released by the UNAMA and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) identified several factors that enable or hinder women’s access to justice in cases involving violence.

The report documents the individual experience of 110 women in Afghanistan who were victims of violence and who sought justice through judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, including mediation, between August 2014 and February 2015.

The recommendations included civil remedies, strengthening the capacity of criminal justice system to protect survivors, regulating mediation through common standards, and applying the 2009 Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women.

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