Building gender equality in the Afghanistan police force
Canada in Afghanistan
Female members of Afghanistan police force in attendance for the construction launch.
Canada is committed to support Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces. Through its Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, Canada contributed US$26 million towards the construction of a Women’s Police Town (Phase 1) in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Canada is committed to support Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces. Through its Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, Canada contributed US$26 million towards the construction of a Women’s Police Town (Phase 1) in Kabul, Afghanistan. This project builds secure living quarters for Afghan national policewomen and their families and is an important new step to increase their number and effectiveness as well as safeguard them as they join the security sector.
Afghanistan’s First Lady Rula (Bibi Gul) Ghani and NATO Commander General John Nicholson launched the construction of this new facility on April 9, 2018. This US$120-million project is made possible with the financial support of Canada, NATO Resolute Support and international donor countries. Women’s Police Town is expected to be completed by 2020, and it will include 10 apartment buildings to house 300 Afghan national policewomen and their families. The project will be a separate, secure housing complex next to the existing Male Police Town, and will include a daycare centre, elementary school, women’s medical clinic, fitness centre and community centre. The daycare centre and elementary school will be managed by the Government of Afghanistan.
New facilities to increase effective women’s participation
Women’s Police Town in Kabul will build on the progress made over the past 15 years to further gender equality in Afghanistan, particularly in the areas of education, life expectancy, and employment. Although the number of women in the Afghanistan police force has increased by 38% since 2014, women currently only make up 2% of the Afghan National Police. Increasing the number of female police officers will empower women, improve the effectiveness of the police force and better serve the Afghan population. Projects such as Women’s Police Town will help reduce one of the critical barriers, such as a lack of secure housing, that deter women from joining the police.
At the launch of the construction of the new facility, François Rivest, Canada’s Ambassador to Afghanistan noted that “successful recruitment and retention of female police officers is vital for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Canada is pleased to support the full participation of women in Afghan society through our sponsorship of the police town project.” The Canadian contribution to Women Police Town in Kabul is one of many projects aiming to increase the participation of women in peace and security operations around the world. As part of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, Canada puts women and girls at the centre of its efforts to prevent and resolve conflict. Promoting peace and security across nations is an opportunity for transformative progress to be achieved on gender equality, inclusion and stability.
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