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For Kandahar women, only female prosecutor a ray of hope

For Kandahar women, only female prosecutor a ray of hope

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Mar 10, 2018 - 13:41

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Amidst rising incidents of domestic tension, the only female prosecutor in southern Kandahar province is investigating cases of violence against womeninfo-icon.

Zainab Faiz, 28, serving as prosecutor for the past two years, has tackled dozens of cases of women. She has been working for an institution, where all her colleagues are men.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News on International Women’s Day, the prosecutor said she was happy seeking justice for women, though working under such circumstance was never easy.

A Shariat faculty graduate, Faiz said there was no female prosecutor in Kandahar earlier. As a result, she recalled, women faced problems in terms of litigation. But now she is determined to help them out.

A mother of two children, the official said going to work in Kandahar was full of risks for women. Faiz is undeterred by threats, hooting and hectoring, nonetheless.

To her, the important thing is that being a woman could better appreciate the feelings and problems of other females. Women could not properly share their problems with male prosecutors, she added.

“When an accused or victim woman cannot speak her mind or fails to share her secrets during investigations, is it possible that her case will be other thing confidently that should be said, how can a thorough probe into her case be conducted?” she asks.

In a situation like this, she believes, a just verdict cannot be expected. Her appointment as a prosecutor has led to the resolution of many cases and bringing justice to women.

In the past one year, she claims, deciding more than 50 cases of violence against women and helping women in bringing to justice 21 men accused of rape. The cases included sexual harassment, under-age marriage, domestic violence, beatings and murder.

Pleased with the presence of even a single female prosecutor in this province, Kandahar’s women say they were previously compelled to refer their cases to male prosecutors.

Naseema, a 44-year-old widow who came to the prosecutor’s office, told Pajhwok her brother-in-law is adamant on marrying her. But having young daughters, she is dead-set against the proposal.

She alleges her brother-in-law seeks the right of deciding the future of her young daughters -- something she resists tooth and nail. She had taken her case to a male prosecutor. But instead of her getting justice, the prosecutor helped her brother-in-law.

At the moment, her case is being heard by Faiz, a source of support and consolation for many aggrieved women. Naseema is confident of her complaint being tackled with neutrality and justice.

Roqia Achakzai, the women affairs director, said only one female prosecutor and women’s rights advocate was serving in Kandahar, where there is no female worker in the justice sector.

She acknowledged the presence of one female attorney and lawyer in the province was not enough, because there were many victims of domestic violence and other crimes.

About 341 different incidents of violence against women have been recorded during the ongoing year in Kandahar.

sa/mud

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