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  • Brokers of Justice: The Special Prosecution Unit for Crimes of Violence against Women in Kabul

    Torunn Wimpelmann

    Chapter from the book: Wimpelmann, T. 2017. The Pitfalls of Protection: Gender, Violence, and Power in Afghanistan.


    This chapter starts with a broad look at how the prosecution and the courts have dealt with cases of gender violence after the EVAW law was enacted. The chapter then zooms in on the special prosecution unit established in Kabul to deal exclusively with crimes of violence against women. Drawing upon a wealth of observational data, the chapter documents the everyday working of the prosecution unit. It argues that, by and large, the unit did not function as donors intended, with the majority of cases withdrawn prior to trial. Yet, even if larger structural relations narrowed women’s options, it was not always the case that women withdrew their complaint simply as a result of an imposition. The chapter suggests that in many instances, the prosecution unit in Kabul served to empower women in a limited sense—by offering them leverage in pursuing objectives other than punishing the perpetrators in accordance to the law.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Wimpelmann, T. 2017. Brokers of Justice: The Special Prosecution Unit for Crimes of Violence against Women in Kabul. In: Wimpelmann, T, The Pitfalls of Protection. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.32.d

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on May 16, 2017