Panjsher women evince interest in joining police ranks
PARAKH (Pajhwok): The number of policewomen has increased in central Panjsher province, playing an effective role in searching females, local officials say.
They say the number of policewomen has risen from three to 13 in one year in Panjsher, where five more females have registered to serve in police ranks.
Provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Aziz Ghairat, told Pajhwok Afghan News efforts were underway to jack up the number of policewomen to 42.
He said some criminal cases related to women could be better handled by female officers. He noted Afghan culture did not allow men to deal with women’s cases.
Two of the 13 police personnel are officers and the rest constables. They are serving at Panjsher central jail and police headquarters, according to the police chief.
Ghairat added female police officers were provided with all necessary facilities such as transport, special rooms and trips. Policewomen are recruited after attending a four-month training course.
There are a total of 1,111 police personnel in Panjsher and women serving in police ranks are happy with their job.
Zarmina, a 32 years resident of Dost Ali village of Abshar district, has been serving in police ranks for the past three years.
Her husband, suffering from a mental condition, did not allow her previously to serve in police ranks, but she was permitted when their economic situation got worse.
A mother of two daughters and two sons, she can help meet family requirements with her monthly salary of 13,000 afghanis ($200). “I am happy with my job. Apart from receive salary, I’m also serving my people.”
Zarmina said a woman involved in a murder case did not allow policemen to arrest her. “But when I went to her house, I talked to her and she agreed to surrender.”
Gul Andam, a widow who did not go to school, has managed to join the police force a year ago. A resident of the Panjsher capital, her job is to search women entering the police headquarters.
“Good security and available job opportunities helped me join police ranks. I am happy with my job and the salary I receive,” she said.
Calling the presence of female officers effective, she said: “A girl ran away from her house in the Bazarak district of Panjsher.
“She did not let policemen take her to the women’s affairs department, but when I spoke with her, she agreed to go with police,”Andam recalled.
Andam added most women involved in criminal cases and their families did not allow male police officers to deal with cases of the accused.
“Women convicts do not confess to their crimes while being investigated by male officers. But they explain everything to female officers,” she continued.
Alia Attayee, the women affairs director, said her office, in coordination with relevant state organs,was trying to boost the strength of policewomen in Panjsher.
Five more women have registered to serve in police ranks. A women’s council has also been created to resolve women’s problems, she added.Six policewomen would be sent to Turkey for professional trainings in the near future.
Zarifa, another woman from Rakha district who has submitted an application for a police job, said all men in her family were serving in the army and she also wanted to do something for her community.
“There would be no problem even if I am sent abroad for training. I am a high school graduate interested in working as a police officer,” she remarked.
Other girls were also ready to work as policewomen, but some families did not let them do so, Zarifa added.Residents of Panjsher have different views on the issue.
Mohammad Shah Azimi, an inhabitant of Shutal district, said: “I have no grown-up girls in my family. If had any, I would allow them to work as policewomen to help other women.
“But we don’t allow women to work outside our province or in a different community,” Azimi added.
However, an Abdullah Khelresident district said despite his economic problems, he would never allow her daughter to work with the police force even if she was paid an exponentially high salary.
He called women’s presence in police ranks a dishonor, saying he did not want her daughters to work together with male officials.
With the Ministry of Interior, nearly 2,900 female police officers are registered and many more desire joining the force.
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