Kandahar: Sole woman prosecutor with big caseload
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Despite the increasing registration of cases of violence against women, only one female prosecutor works in the attorney office in southern Kandahar province.
Kandahar’s Women Affairs Department and activists expressed serious concern on the issue, saying it was difficult to address a legal case relating to females.
Women Affairs Director Ruqia Achakzai, in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, said only one female prosecutor and one defence lawyer were working in Kandahar.
However, there is not even a single female in the provincial judiciary. One prosecutor and lawyer could not cope with too many cases, she argued, saying it was difficult to probe the cases fairly.
Women could not reveal all their secrets and sentiments to men, Achakzai said. On the other hand, they can share straight up all information about their cases with women officials.
Achakzai explained women accused of different offences were not bad at heart but they were somehow pushed into crimes by hard living conditions. A female prosecutor or a judge could better appreciate the emotions of a woman, she added.
She asked the central government to pay more attention to the problem and increase the number of female workers the judicial organs. As many as 23 women are currently imprisoned in the province.
They are in jail for different crimes such as murder, elopement, kidnapping, robberies, etc. The director said 210 cases of violence against women, including beatings, denial of rights, child marriages and elopement, were filed this solar year.
These complicated cases needed investigations by professional female prosecutors and judges, she said, adding a number of female workers in Kandahar lived in Kabul, a problem the government should resolve.
Achakzai also blamed families for not allowing girls to choose what they wanted to study. “Many girls who want to continue professional studies are prevented by their families and that is why the number of female workers is limited.”
Kandahar civil society’s female activists said men and women were equal members of society and both should have an equal share in serving people and having access to facilities.
Shahida, a civil society activist, said harassment and torture of women by males and decisions on such incidents by men were against all principles of justice.
When a woman needed a female doctor, they similarly needed female workers in judicial organs to address their cases, she argued.
The government could resolve the problem and employ women to the justice sector on reasonable salaries, she believed.
Pajhwok tried to to the only female prosecutor in Kandahar on the issue, but she declined commenting due to security problems.
The governor’s spokesman, Samim Khpalwak, acknowledged judicial organs were not alone having fewer women workers. There is a similar situation other government organs.
“Unfortunately the number of women workers in Kandahar is three percents. The problem is rooted in medieval traditions,” he added.
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