World

Afghan women failed by justice system as mediation favored over prosecution

  • Chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission Sima Samar, center, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, left, and Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General for Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom give a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 19, 2015. A U.N. report released Sunday said 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. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

    Chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission Sima Samar, center, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, left, and Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General for Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom give a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 19, 2015. A U.N. report released Sunday said 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. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 19, 2015. A U.N. report released Sunday said 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. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

    U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 19, 2015. A U.N. report released Sunday said 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. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)  (The Associated Press)

  • The dead body of a policeman is wheeled into the Lashkar Gah hospital after a suicide attack, in the city of Lashkar Gah,  capital of Helmand Province southern of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April, 19, 2015. Insurgents armed with guns and explosives entered a police station in Afghanistan's southern city of Lashkar Gah on Sunday after a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the gate of the compound allowing the others to gain entry, a senior policeman said. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaliq)

    The dead body of a policeman is wheeled into the Lashkar Gah hospital after a suicide attack, in the city of Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand Province southern of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April, 19, 2015. Insurgents armed with guns and explosives entered a police station in Afghanistan's southern city of Lashkar Gah on Sunday after a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the gate of the compound allowing the others to gain entry, a senior policeman said. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaliq)  (The Associated Press)

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.