UN: Afghan women failed by justice system as mediation favored over prosecution

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KABUL, Afghanistan — The United Nations says Afghanistan's women are being failed by the country's justice system as most complaints of domestic violence are dealt with by mediation rather than prosecution.

A report released Sunday says only 5 percent of surveyed cases were resolved through the judicial system, resulting in criminal prosecution and punishment for perpetrators.

The U.N.'s assistant secretary general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, says women often choose mediation to resolve complaints of violence, partly because they lack faith in the justice system.

He says access to justice for women who suffer violence needs to be strengthened.

Afghanistan is regularly named as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman. Constitutional guarantees of equal rights and protection from violence are rarely applied in practice.

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