"It is important to have women standing side by side with male officers"
Kabul, 5 April 2012. Babona Farozi from Daikondi Province became the first female officer to attend a senior detective training at the Police Staff College in Kabul, when she started the two week course in March. 24-year old Babona is a third Lieutenant, with only three and a half years service. Currently she works as a Detective Officer within the Women and Family Department in Sharstan District.
For Lead Tutor, EUPOL Officer Chief Inspector Terry Scaife (pictured), it was a very pleasant surprise on the first day of the course to see a female officer in the room. He was impressed by Babona’s initial introduction: “She immediately expressed a wish to also attend newly developed investigative interview training in April.”
Babona is an exceptional role model for women in Afghanistan who may be interested in joining the police. Her professional life so far has not been easy, though. “I had to suffer direct prejudice and discrimination from some male officers who were actively opposed to me being in the police.” Despite this, she never gave up and personally was responsible for recruiting 40 female officers into the ANP, who are all still serving. The Afghan Ministry of Interior would need more women like her to reach the goal of 5.000 females in the police force by 2014. Right now, they make up only one percent – approximately 1.300.
Babona, one of them, knows all of the challenges. She has also had to contend with the personal difficulty of having a five year old daughter who has to stay with her mother in another province, and who she only sees every three months. “This is because I have to be near to my work,” she explains. As her current job involves dealing with the challenges of domestic violence in the home, she even has to bring female victims back to her single rented room to sleep there, as there is nowhere else for them to go. Despite these huge personal and professional challenges, Babona is still fully committed to her job and to that of promoting the role of women to join the ANP. “It is very important to have women standing side by side with male officers to build a better Afghanistan,” she explains her motivation.
A better Afghanistan for herself means also to develop her skills. Babona says she has learned so much on this course: “I now have so many more ways of investigating crime and managing crime scenes, which I will also now teach to other female officers.” Babona is now also getting strong support from her managers to progress her career further.
Terry explained that the senior detective course has recently been reviewed and provides those who lead criminal investigations the necessary tools to make them more effective in detecting crime back in the workplace. The course covers topics on initial crime scene investigation and scene management, suspect, witness and victim strategies, the role of the police and the prosecutor, media awareness, intelligence, decision making, investigative interviewing and critical first actions. Students attend the course from Kabul and from any of the Provinces.