Monday, 19 March 2012 7:38 AM

Limited Avenues for Justice for Women: UN Rapporteur

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women has stated that there are limited avenues for justice available to women victims of violence.

The UN Special Rapporteur says that this is by far one of the main challenges faced by the country on the issue of violence against women.

The UN Special Rapporteur, Ms. Rashida Manjoo, who was in the country last week, says there are currently no specific legislation to address violence against women, adding that the Penal Code only refers to some forms of domestic violence, and that marital rape is not criminalized by law.

Ms Manjoo says even when legislation is available, implementation remains a challenge.

She says while courts may provide protection orders for women victims of domestic violence, these only apply to married women and they are reportedly rarely enforced by the police.

She says structural obstacles also limit women's access to the formal justice system, adding that there is no connection between the capital and the rest of the country regarding access to justice.

Meanwhile other challenges identified during the mission include a lack of infrastructure, human and financial resources, insufficient qualified judges, magistrates and lawyers, amongst other factors.

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