Afghan female cops face rape, abuse from male colleagues
By Sayed Jawad - Thu Dec 20 2012, 9:52 am
Conditions for women in Afghanistan have improved significantly since the Taliban were ousted. Women have won back basic rights in voting, education and work since Taliban rule, when they were not allowed out of their homes without a male escort and could be publicly stoned to death for adultery.
However reports suggest Afghan female police officers are regularly experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination by male Afghan cops despite they have been heralded as the face of women’s rights at work in the country.
Reuters News Agency following an interview uncovered repeated incidents of abuse and harassment by the male officers. At least 12 police women were interviewed who see them as immoral for accepting work as police.
Detective police Lailoma , who also asked that her family name not be used told Reuters, “They want it to be like the time of the Taliban. They tell us every day we are bad women and should not be allowed to work here.”
She added that she knows several of the women under her command have been raped by male police.
There are currently just 1,850 female police, less than two percent of the entire police force despite Afghan president Hamid Karzai set a goal for 5,000 women to join the Afghan National Police (ANP) by the time NATO forces pull out in 2014.
“It’s a men’s country,” Hawa Alam Nuristani, one of a handful of female members on the High Peace Council, the government body appointed by Mr. Karzai to reach out to the insurgency, told the Wall Street Journal. “Our only support is from the international community. What is the guarantee that we won’t be faced with a similar regime as the Taliban when the Americans withdraw?”