Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-25-13

HRW Report Finds Afghan Women Police Officers Face Harassment, Violence

Female police officers in Afghanistan are fighting harassment in co-ed changing facilities and restrooms at the hands of male colleagues, according to a recent report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

In the story, released today, HRW found that women in the Afghan police force face sexual harassment, assault, and even rape from male colleagues. Many of these attacks occur in changing rooms and bathrooms, which have peepholes or no locks. Women are forced to stand guard for each other while they change or use the restroom. On April 10th, the police chief ordered that all stations have separate facilities for women, however such orders have been ignored before. Despite a goal of increasing the number of women in the Afghan police force to 5,000 by 2014, women currently only make up 1% of the country's police and the conditions faced by women present a recruitment challenge. A senior official, who asked to remain anonymous, told reporters, "Men whose rank is junior to me won't salute me. They don't value women as they should... I am supposed to recruit women, but people say they can't send their daughters because it is not safe."

The attitude toward women in the police force combined with the small numbers of women police officers have broader implications for the women of Afghanistan, according to HRW. The organization is concerned that without women police officers to assist victims of sexual and gender violence, including fellow police officers, cases will not be reported out of fear of cultural retaliation. Brad Adams, the Asia Director for the HRW, said "The Afghan government's failure to provide female police officers with safe, secure facilities makes them more vulnerable to abuse. This is not just about toilets. It's about the government's recognition that women have a crucial role to play in law enforcement in Afghanistan... Without the consistent presence of female police officers across the country, legal protections for women will remain an unfulfilled promise."

Media Resources: Human Rights Watch 4/25/2013; News Pakistan 4/25/2013; Guardian 4/24/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1. The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
 
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case. UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
 
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall. The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies. Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .