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New policy adopted to prevent sexual harassment in army

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday it has devised a policy aimed at preventing sexual harassment in the squads of the national army amid existence of violations of women’s rights.

The ministry’s spokesman Ghafoor Ahmad Jawid said: “This policy is an efficient stride to protect immunity and rights of women and girls in the army.”

“Although we have no such issues of sexual harassment in the defense ministry, this policy has been devised to prevent from any possible abuses and violations of human rights in the future.”

Jawid hoped that this policy will encourage women and girls to join the army.

There are currently 3,231 women in the Afghan National Police, 1,312 women in the Afghan National Army, which includes the air force, and 122 women in the Afghan Special Security Forces, making up, in aggregate, roughly 1.4 percent of Afghan security forces. All but 75 of them are based in Kabul, Zamannews reported.

Prior to introduction of this new procedure, there had been no policy against sexual abuses even though allegations of sexual assault have tarnished the standing of national army.

NATO mission in Afghanistan has shifted its focus away from lofty recruitment goals. In 2010, the goal was to have 10 percent of security forces be women by 2020. In 2015, that goal was scrapped for a more attainable one: 5,000 women in the army and 10,000 women in the police force by 2025.

Now, the goal is to have at least 10 percent of the Afghan National Police and 3 percent of the Afghan National Army filled by women by 2021, with an eventual goal of 10 percent in the army.

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