19. Women talking to woman police officers
“Policewomen in Afghanistan should be well trained and carry out their work properly,” explains a female police officer in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The number of policewomen in the country has increased tenfold over a period of ten years. At the start of the 2000’s they numbered a few hundred. In 2017 there were about 3000 of them. Despite this, women still only account for about two per cent of all police officers in Afghanistan.
Policewomen are particularly important in Afghanistan where a woman is rarely prepared to tell her husband that she has been a victim of an offence. A woman may also find it difficult to talk about the matter with another woman but the existence of female police officers at least makes it possible. In 2007–2016 Finland was an active participant in the work of the EU Civilian Crisis Management Commission, which worked to strengthen the Afghan police force and the rule of law in the country. The commission supported the recruitment and training of female police officers as well as improved the working environment of policewomen by setting up a network of female police officers and by supporting the establishment of an external complaint mechanism.
Photo: Marai Aref Karimi/Lehtikuva/AFP Photo, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta