2,000 women in police force
KABUL (PAN): A senior Ministry of Interior official on Sunday said though women served as generals and deputy police chiefs, yet cultural restrictions continued to keep them away from joining the force.
Col. Hikmat Shahi, chief of gender department at the ministry, told reporters in Kabul the number of women in the Afghan National Police (ANP) had reached 2,000, with 500 joining the force this solar year alone -- a big achievement.
She said the Ministry of Interior wanted the number of police officers to reach 5,000 by end-2014; even 2,500 would be a realistic target.
“We accept as police officers the women having crossed the age of 18 years; they should be educated and Afghans,” she said, adding other conditions included at least nine years of education, good health and a crime-free record.
She said most policewomen performed their duty in Kabul and the rest served in the remaining 33 provinces in different fields. “Policewomen play a very positive role in a community. Like a lady doctor, a policewoman is needed by society and Islam allows them to serve other females, especially in medical field.”
She said negative customs in the society barred women from working as government servants, especially as policewomen.
However, she said despite all these traditional barriers, more women joined the force in recent months in Kabul and other provinces.
“Women in the Ministry of Interior are serving in different fields like administrators, assistants to ministers and interrogators. They help solve family problems, and also work as trainers. Their help is needed during night time operations. We have women working as doctors and nurses in hospitals.”
She said there were two female generals in police --- Aziza, deputy head of police human resources department and Sharifa, the director of women support in the police education sector.
Gulalai, who has been serving as deputy administrator at the gender department, said her job was to improve education of police officers. “When I first joined the police academy, I was undergoing a military education training as well. On completing the three years course, I was promoted as second lieutenant, and soon appointed on a high position,” she said.
She was always encouraged by the people she served, said Gulalai, who was never insulted by her colleagues. She said women being tortured by family members could report to the gender department and their cases would be referred for investigations.
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