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Women in armed forces

Women can play significant role in development of the country. However, their participation in the governmental organizations is minimal and worth lamenting. Women’s role is deemed more crucial when it comes to effectiveness of the armed forces, especially in Islamic republics, because only women can search women. In a society where men are not allowed to stare at females, in such a society we direly needs policewomen to respect the traditions without distancing public.

Though, the Ministry of Interior acknowledges that women’s role is important in rule of law. But nothing considerable has been done in this regard. This is why there are 2,700 women in police force—a number that is far more less when compared to the neighboring countries. Security officials had not provided data about total number of women in the country’s armed forces. The interior ministry times and again pledged to increase number of policewomen but the statistics remains the same.

Realizing the need for well-trained police force, especially women, capable of preventing any untoward situation, the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL) has promised to help the interior ministry. The EUPOL has repeatedly stressed on improvement of police and recruitment of more women in the force. Unfortunately, the calls have not budged the Afghan government.

Without reforming the police force and embracing modern trends, the government could not succeed in convincing girls and women to join the armed forces and serve the nation. Unless the interior ministry takes certain steps, increase in number of policewomen will remain a distant dream.

To pave ground for women to join the armed forces, first the government should launch multiple awareness drives in every part of the country. Such campaigns are necessary to encourage parents to allow their daughters to join police force or army. In many areas even women are not ready to join the government forces. Therefore, the awareness drives would play important role in encouraging girls and women to come forward and serve the country. Village councils are of significant importance when it comes to encouragement of womenfolk.

The councils could pave ground for recruitment of women in the armed forces while bringing public attention towards the reality that policewomen are necessary to search houses and women at security checkpoints. Role of women in the rule of law could not be denied. Therefore, more women in the armed forces will improve the law and order situation, at least to some extent, as it would prevent the militants from using burqas as cover to target civilian and military installations.

Indeed, religious scholars also have important role to play in this aspect. Ulema are great asset to be utilized. People listen to them and believe what they say. Their sermons can alter the negative mindset and make a way for young women to join the country’s armed forces.

Moreover, the government should provide facilities such as education and allowances to women in the armed forces. They should be promoted based on their performance rather than favoritism.

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