Ministry of Interior and UNDP to Make Police Facilities More Women-Friendly

LOTFA Photo Caption
Shakiba Rahim, Shift Manager, supervises 22 police officers including women at the Department of Space Security and Smuggling Occlusion of Kabul International Airport. Photo: UNDP Afghanistan / Ali Ahmad Fakhri / 2016

It takes a great deal of courage for a woman to be a police officer in Afghanistan. There are only 3,000 women serving in a force of more than 150,000 across the country. These women had to fight the cultural restrictions to join the ranks of police.

Now they face many other challenges. Poor safety in the workplace is a major one. But the good news is that the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs and UNDP work together to overcome these issues so that women police can operate in a much safer environment.   

On 11 April 2017, representatives from the Ministry of Interior and UNDP inaugurated a construction project in western Herat province that will build 14 dressing rooms and washrooms for women at police stations in the city and throughout the province. Funded by the Republic of Korea, the project is part of a bigger initiative that will change 60 police facilities across the country into more friendly spaces for women police.  

Highlights

  • Only 3,000 women serve in 157,000-strong Afghan police force.
  • Poor workplace safety is a major challenge women police face in Afghanistan.
  • UNDP will build dedicated dressing rooms and toilets for women in 60 police facilities across the country.

“This is an excellent initiative and it will help policewomen like me to perform our duties better,” said Zainab Qazizada, who has been serving in the province for the past 12 years. “This will not only ensure our safety and security, but also encourage other women to join in.”

Naema, an officer in her late twenties, feels happy that their facility will have dedicated washrooms and dressing rooms for women. “It will strengthen our commitment to working harder because it means we’re respected in the workplace as we now have separate toilet and a safer place to change clothes.”

This is an important step towards empowering women police and encouraging others to join the force. “UNDP helps the Afghan police build the kind of institutions and infrastructure they need to ensure security and strengthen rule of law for everyone in the country,” said Stephen Moore, UNDP’s Ministry of Interior and Police Development (MPD) project manager.

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