A ceremony was organized to celebrate the construction of a major town for the Afghan women police kicked off in Kabul.

The Canadian Ambassador to Kabul François Rivest, NATO Commander General John Nicholson, Afghanistan’s First Lady Bibi Gul Ghani and other senior officials participated in the ceremony to celebrate the start of the project.

The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in a report stated that the Women’s Police Town  complex is being built on the grounds of the Afghan Ministry of the Interior Affairs to ensure women have a safe, secure environment to fully integrate into the police force.

“Successful recruitment and retention of female police officers is vital for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said François Rivest, Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan. “Canada is pleased to support the full participation of women in Afghan society through our sponsorship of the Police Town project.”

According to Resolute Support Mission, Women’s Police Town will be a separate secure complex adjacent to the existing Male Police Town to ensure the safety, security and privacy of policewomen and their families. The project includes construction of 10 apartment buildings, each with 30 units, able to house 300 Afghanistan national policewomen and their families.

The report by Resolute Support Mission further adds that the proposed complex will be constructed in four phases and will also include an elementary school, children and infant day care facility, women’s medical clinic, fitness center and community center. The elementary school and day care center will be managed and operated by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA).

“Today’s celebration has been years in the making,” said General John Nicholson, Resolute Support commander. “It would not have been possible without the continued dedication of many organizations, nations, and individuals who all see a common goal: the full participation of women in all aspects of Afghan society.

“This celebration brings us one step closer to that goal, and symbolizes the dreams of millions of women in their grate nation, to serve proudly and play a pivotal role in its future and security.”

Women’s Police Town construction project has been developed in coordination with GIRoA and funded by the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund. The Government of Canada contributed $26 million to fund the first phase of construction. Their contribution acknowledges the international community’s commitment to gender equality and the future vision of the Afghanistan National Police. The project is expected to be completed in 2020.