Female security personnel are an integral part of the Afghan National Security Forces. Afghan women are gradually joining their brothers in uniform to defend their beloved Afghanistan.
“For me to be here and witness their graduation was an honour,” said Brigadier General Gordana Garasic, who appreciated the opportunity to meet the 51 graduates. “I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours. I advise them to remain professional and active members in their society because by providing a good example, others will follow in their footsteps.”
NATO Training Mission Afghanistan commander, Brigadier General Simon Hetherington, also spoke at the graduation ceremony and awarded certificates to the graduates. Hetherington and Garasic were accompanied by Afghan Major General Selab, commander of the ANP Training General Command.
Of the 51 graduates, 26 were selected for completing the eight-week Initial Police Training Course (IPTC), which is overseen by advisors of the Afghan Women’s Police Corps. The remaining 25 graduates completed the four-month Non-Commissioned Officer specialty training.
While addressing the graduates, Garasic emphasised the importance of including women in all aspects of a society.
“I am come from a country [Croatia] that also went through a bad period, through a war for independence, and only by active participation from all members of society we have succeeded in that effort,” said Garasic. “Women in the police and military were and continue to be important contributors to the prosperity and well-being of the whole society.”
As a way to continue to work closely with her Afghan counterparts in the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defence, Garasic attended the ceremony alongside her Afghan counterpart Brigadier General Sharifa Rosuly, deputy commander, ANP Training General Command and head of the Women’s Assembly Affairs and Human Rights Department.
“I recruited the policewomen who graduated today and they are like my children,” said Rosuly. “My hope for the future is to continue to see women develop in different parts of society such as in medicine, engineering and teaching.”
Currently, there are approximately 2,000 women serving in the ANP. Rosuly would like to see those numbers increase.
“Our goal is to get to 5,000 policewomen by the end of 2014,” said Rosuly. “Being a policewoman is really important because they will work side by side with their male colleagues. Policewoman and policeman are like two wings of a plane: If one wing is broken the plane will crash.”