Shortage of women lawyers curbing justice

A lack of female lawyers in Afghanistan is severely curbing access to justice for women in the war-torn country, according to a report in a Turkish magazine.

Afghanistan: battle for women's rights

The problem is especially acute in the south-eastern province of Nangarhar, adds Turkish Weekly.
Women accused of crimes are almost exclusively represented and prosecuted by male lawyers, with their cases heard by male judges. According to the magazine, the under-representation of women in the legal profession means that many of those accused of offences are frightened of providing defence lawyers and judges the full details of their defences.
The journal highlights the case of one woman, who told its reporter: ‘My husband had sexual relations with my 17-year-old daughter. I repeatedly told him to stop it, but he threatened to kill me. My Islamic beliefs and my conscience meant I could not bear the shame of it, so I killed my husband.’
The woman claims she couldn’t explain the full story to her male defence lawyer, but that she could have confided in a female representative.

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