A law enforcement agency that respects and protects females is crucial for progress: Twelve years after the fall of the Taliban, violence against women is on the increase. But millions of Afghan women will never see a female police officer in their communities, let alone be able to report a crime to one, with just one female police officer for every 10,000 women. Even where they are recruited, policewomen face serious challenges including discrimination, lack of training and facilities, sexual harassment, as well as social stigma. All Afghans stand to benefit from a more effective and responsive ANP in which policewomen play their part. Surveys show that Afghan communities trust policewomen more than male officers, helping to strengthen the state-citizen relationship. The report makes specific recommendations to the Afghan Government, but also makes suggestions to the UK as a donor to intensify efforts to reform the ANP and enhance women’s roles, including: · Prioritising women in overall police reform efforts, backed by specific funds, including support for improved literacy, community policing, and female-only facilities · Providing substantial long-term funding for civil society initiatives, including efforts that increase community acceptance and promote male champions and female role models · Ensuring equal access to training and career opportunities for women, with improved gender and rights training for all personnel.
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