Afghani Women Police to Face More Danger Under Taliban
|Afghani women police during a 2015 graduation ceremony (Serhat Cagdas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images|
There are only about 4,000 female officers in the police force, or one for every 5,000 women in the country of nearly 40 million.
Former Interior Minister Massoud Andarabi said in March, 2021, that Afghanistan needed more female police to address the needs of women and girls, as he pledged to increase the number of women in the force to 10,000 by 2024, reuters reported.
There were many attacks on officials and prominent women around Afghanistan as the government negotiates a power-sharing deal with the Taliban, the Islamist group that banned girls from going to school.
That time, most female officers are deployed at airports and border crossings, with others used for domestic crimes involving women.
One policewoman in Jalalabad said the work was becoming increasingly dangerous. “We are faced with death threats every moment. We don’t know when and who would attack us,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on condition of anonymity.
Afghani Women Police under Taliban
Before Taliban coming Kabul, some women who served in the Ministry of Interior Affairs or Afghan National Police have fled Afghanistan due to direct threats to their life.
Women police have been among the victims of targeted killings as the Taliban expanded their territorial gains over the last year, along with women judges, journalists, according to lowyinstitute.
Women police are at particular risk because they are often seen as transgressing gender norms and “moral” boundaries of what is acceptable within religious and conservative practices and norms. Women police are not only at risk of assassination, violence or reprisal from violent extremists, but also from the community and their own family members.
lowyinstitute reports, one-third of women police in Afghanistan are ethnic Hazaras, a persecuted minority group. This representation is relatively high given ethnic Hazara people comprise only 9% of the population. Crucially, there is evidence of progress in that local support for women to work for the army or police has risen slightly to 34% – which leaves 66% who believe otherwise.
|In early 2021, women police in Afghanistan reached a proportion of 2.6% – or just over 4000 of an estimated 157,000 strong force. It was the highest ratio since the international community pushed to embark on gender-responsive policing reforms over a decade earlier. It is a paltry figure given the massive investment from state donors and international agencies.|
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