feature image via the video below.
Colonel Jamila Bayaz, a 50-year-old mother of five, this week became the first women to be appointed police chief in Afghanistan. Bayaz will lead the 1st District of Kabul.
Although the job will not be without risk – a senior police woman was murdered in Helmand last September – Bayaz appeared excited to take on her new role, and hopes it will inspire more women to join the ranks of the police force in Afghanistan. “This is a chance not just for me,” said Bayaz, “but for the women of Afghanistan. I will not waste it.”
Increasing the number and rank of women in policing will play a critical role in decreasing violence against women in Afghanistan and has been an important goal for the United States and the international community. “I want to thank America and the international community for all of their help and support,” said Bayaz. “I would not be here today if it weren’t for all of their assistance.”
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has yet to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States that would help determine the post-2014 role of the US in Afghanistan. The BSA provides that the US will continue to offer assistance to strengthen security, provide humanitarian aid, and support economic and civic development.
In an open letter to President Obama, Afghan civil society leaders asked the President “to ensure that the United States will stand behind the true aspirations of the Afghan people for free, prosperous and democratic future.” The letter continues, “Over the coming years, Afghanistan will be completing its political and security transitions as the foundation for the future that we seek. It is our sincere hope that the people of the United States, who were with us during difficult years, will remain with us as we complete the challenging transition period and become more self-reliant.”
Media Resources: Reuters 1/16/14; Alliance in Support of the Afghan People 1/15/14; NBC News 1/15/14; Feminist News 11/27/13, 9/19/13