Increase in female police force leads to crime decline in Baghlan, Jawzjan

By Hedayatullah

Female police officers are shown at Jawzjan police headquarters in Sheberghan on August 17. [Hekmatullah Farhad]

Female police officers are shown at Jawzjan police headquarters in Sheberghan on August 17. [Hekmatullah Farhad]

KUNDUZ -- Public confidence in the police force has been bolstered in Jawzjan and Baghlan provinces by the unprecedented increase in the number of women joining its ranks and by a decrease in the crime rate.

There are 4,000 female police officers serving in the Afghan National Police (ANP) across the country, a number that is expected to increase to 10,000 by 2024, Gen. Masood Andarabi, former minister of interior affairs, said in early March.

The number of women in the ANP has more than doubled in Jawzjan province, from 35 in 2019 to 72 in 2020, said governor's spokesman Abdul Marouf Azar.

Policewomen play an effective role in maintaining security, Azar said, adding that their presence on the police force is necessary for investigating criminal cases in which women are allegedly involved.

Over the past solar year, female officers have succeeded in bringing perpetrators, either in criminal cases or cases of violence against women, to justice, he said.

In addition to providing security, women play an important role in helping meet the daily needs of their families through earning a steady income, he added.

'My biggest supporter'

Despite the prevailing challenges, more and more women have been joining the police force in Jawzjan, said Lt. Halima Halimi, a female police officer at the Jawzjan provincial police headquarters.

"I am so delighted that I am serving in the ANP alongside my brothers [policemen] for the past three years," she said. "I am proud of my job."

"My father was initially reluctant to allow me to join," Halimi recalled. His hesitation was due to the public's negative perception of women serving on the police force, since it was against traditional norms, she said.

However, his perception has changed completely, she added. "Now he is my biggest supporter."

Zahra, who wanted to be mentioned only by her first name, has been serving on the Jawzjan police force since 2019.

Women's participation in the police force has many benefits for society, she said. "On the one hand, they effectively contribute to improving the security situation, and on the other, it is a very good economic opportunity for the women themselves."

According to Zahra, women who serve in the ANP in Jawzjan earn between 14,000 AFN and 20,000 AFN ($180 and $258) a month.

"Luckily our monthly salary is more than enough to make a good living and be a productive member of our families," she said.

She called on all interested Afghan women to join the ANP and asked them to stand side by side in defending their country. "You will not only become economically self-sufficient but also the guardian of the Afghan nation," she said.

Lower crime rate

In Baghlan province, local officials said the increase in the number of female officers has contributed to a substantial reduction in the crime rate.

"Now that more women are serving on the police force, crime rates, particularly within households, have decreased," said Ahmad Jawed Basharat, spokesman for the Baghlan police department.

"In the past, we witnessed a number of cases involving gender-based violence, harassment, beating, and even the murder of women," he said. "With the presence of female police officers, we can [better] deal with such issues."

"Given the lack of female officers, we could not address women's personal issues because they were unwilling to speak about them with a male officer," Basharat said. "Now local women can confidently raise issues they are facing with our female officers."

There are 45 female police officers serving in Baghlan province, up from 30 in 2019, he said. "In addition to performing routine duties, they join other national security forces in conducting security operations."

"We also aim to recruit female police officers at the district level," he added.

It is the responsibility of every Afghan to serve his or her country, said Abdul Saboor Hamid, a civil society activist in Baghlan.

"We [all] must play our part," he added.

"I call on all families to send their daughters to join the ANP to become part of the solution in our society," he said.

"A police force without female participation is indeed incomplete," he said, noting that just like female doctors are needed in Afghan society, so are policewomen.

Supportive public

A number of female police officers have promised to spare no effort in providing security and at the same time putting an end to violence against women within their jurisdiction.

Searching houses, especially in rural areas, to identify and arrest criminals is an important part of their duty, said Lt. Nargis Sayar, a police officer in Baghlan police headquarters.

"I had the honour to be part of a security operation in the Dand-e-Shahabuddin area near Pul-i-Khumri last year," she recalled. "It was a house-to-house search, and I made sure not to harm any female villager."

"If need be, I will make sure to seek permission before entering and searching a house," Nargis said, adding that she was proud to take part in the police force's special operations.

"I am grateful to Allah Almighty that we have established a friendly relationship with civilians; therefore, they are very supportive," said Lt. Siddiqa Ahmadi, a police officer in Baghlan. "The public enormously supports us."

Public perception of female police officers has indeed changed over time.

"Afghans support and respect female members of the ANP now," said Wahidullah Rasikh, a resident of Sheberghan, provincial capital of Jawzjan.

"We are very happy" with their service, he said.

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It is good news that women have joined their country's national defense and security forces. Women are important in all areas and should have a role. We saw that most of the terrorists launched attacks, with wearing women's clothing. If there were female police officers, they could have easily identified them and prevented deadly incidents; therefore, people should encourage the female police so that they can serve their people better.


The increment of female police in the ranks of the security forces undoubtedly plays an important role in reducing crime and terrorism. For example, if a checkpoint is set up in a place and people are searched, it is the female police who search women, because in the culture of the country, a man cannot search a woman, even if she is guilty. Even he cannot arrest her. Therefore, female police are very useful for the security of the country and are effective in good governance. People should cooperate with the female police and encourage women to serve alongside their brothers in the ranks of their security forces for the suffered people.


It is a matter of pleasure as female police officers work in society. In this photo, the female police officers look a little disordered and tired of their work. They should have one and organized uniform and be ready.