Why Pakistan Needs a Few More Good Women


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Inclusive Security Action’s Allison Peters writes in Foreign Policy, “Greater female representation in the police force would not only ensure that the Pakistani government can combat internal threats, but it also would encourage more-effective spending of international assistance.”

In a new Foreign Policy article, Inclusive Security Action’s Allison Peters and our Women Waging Peace Network member Huma Chughtai argue that increasing women’s participation in Pakistan’s police forces can help generate greater stability in that volatile country:

“On a lucky day in Pakistan, approximately 4,400 female police officers (only one percent of 400,000 total officers) may be on duty. There are not enough female officers to serve at every security checkpoint, and due to prohibitive norms, the male officers cannot conduct body searches of females. But the people of Pakistan deserve better. International partners who have poured millions of dollars into efforts to counter terrorism in the country must realize this tremendous gap because, in a nation with a porous border, where the government is struggling to contain violent extremism and has launched a large-scale offensive against militant groups in the tribal areas, a greater investment in policewomen can deliver a very high return.”

The authors specifically call on the US Congress to ensure that the final foreign aid bill for FY 2015 includes key provisions passed recently by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The current language, which will now come before the full House and Senate for consideration, prioritizes assistance for the recruitment, retention, and professionalization of female Pakistani police officers. It’s crucial for local and regional security, Peters and Chugtai contend, that Congress follows through on this commitment.

Read the full article here.

Our Work in Pakistan

Since 2011, Inclusive Security has worked with local partner organization PAIMAN Alumni Trust to explore women’s role in moderating violent extremism in Pakistan. Our focus on policewomen is the result of extensive research, meetings, focus groups, and workshops conducted with female Pakistani police officers, members of provincial police leadership, the federal Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, international donors, civil society, and security sector experts.

Knowing that the strongest case is made by Pakistani women, who themselves are suffering as a result of terror and violent extremism, Inclusive Security has sponsored two delegations of female leaders to deliver their perspectives and recommendations directly to policymakers in Washington, DC. Read more about our 2014 delegation here.

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