Afghanistan: Police Cooperation Project

GIZ – PCP (Police Cooperation Project)
Literacy unit of PCP works in partnership with Minister of Interior Affairs of Afghanistan and
National Literacy Department of Minister of Education of Afghanistan.


 Better interaction between police and the citizens
 Increased government legitimacy
 Creating self-confidence, responsibility and professionalism
 Increase literacy amongst police
 Increase police efficiency through providing professional training
 Increase security through educating police


Literacy Program began a support to police reform in northern Afghanistan 2008/9, and it
expanded almost all over Afghanistan. Now it covers 26 provinces and provides literacy courses
to all afghan national police forces.
The courses provided by PCP are basic and post literacy courses. Basic literacy courses that
provide literacy lesson up to 9-12 months and post literacy courses take up 6 months of
education by police learners. In addition, more topics such as human rights, police roles and
duties, health care, gender and environment, basic of professional and legal knowledge is
provided for better efficiency of police in work environment.
Additionally, short-term courses are provided for ANP. The Short Term Courses are provided for
up to eight weeks for Police Training Centres and Police Training Units.
The program also provides workshop for facilitators who are in charge of literacy courses for the
police. Also, stationary and books and class equipment are provided for literacy learners and
courses on monthly bases. In the year 2014, 105 container classrooms, along with furniture
were provided in areas where actual classroom facilities were not available.


Gender Manual

In 2015 – PCP has finalized a gender manual. This manual will be used in the literacy courses
by both facilitators and ANP learners. In addition to explaining the concept of gender, this
manual discusses gender issues and violence against women that arise as a result of wrong
practices in Afghanistan, which has become part of the peoples’ wrong traditions. It is important
to note that a chapter of this manual discusses the gender-based violence prevalent in society,
while people unconsciously root it to religion. It explains such wrong practices where there is no
evidence or facts in religion to back them up. The aim is to raise the awareness of the police to
such practices and take action against it. Spoken of wrong traditions that practice violence
against women, police, who is not well educated, cannot differentiate either, since they are also
part of the society and has been raised in the same society. This manual therefore will help
them learn those practices that are not Islamic or lawful and fight against violence not only in
their families but also bring a change in their behavior with women as humans and citizens.

Elimination of violence against women

In addition to gender manual, police learners in their courses are also receiving knowledge of
elimination of violence against women. This topic helps police understand the law of elimination
of violence against women that is a presidential decree and foresees punishments for the acts
of violence that are committed against women. Even though a great achievement for women,
this instrument is not widely understood by the police. Therefore, we have included this as an
additional topic lesson for the police to increase their awareness and knowledge of the law and
increase its enforcement mechanism.

Hiring Female Consultants

We believe that it is one of the key success factors of every project and organization to promote
gender equality in its structure. Hence, in 2015, with an unprecedented act, we hired five
female consultants to fulfill a quality control of fieldwork in PCP. One of the main purposes of
hiring female consultants in GIZ- PCP project was to observe the gender equality within the
project. The new consultants are not hired only because of observing the formality for gender
equality, but the main purpose was that PCP project really wanted to implement and show up
the equality. The atmosphere for observing the gender equality within GIZ-PCP is highly one of
the big strengths for this project.


Lack of Female Leaders in GIZ

One of the main shortcomings within GIZ – Afghanistan is that the number of female employees
is limited, and the number of female staff in managerial positions is even smaller, or nonexistent in most projects. Much attention has not been pain to this point up to now, and not
many women have raised the issue. Speaking to human resource manager, I once asked her
about lack of female staff within GIZ structure, and she told me that female staff is difficult to
keep for longer time, since they get offers with higher pays from other organizations; therefore,
they chose to leave this organization. I believe, this should have been the answer. An
international staff, in charge of recruitment, firmly believes it. In such cases, unconsciously, the
team tends to recruit more male staff, in order to be in safe side from loss of experienced staff,
even though it is not visible. Instead HR needs to have a policy that supports female staff,
attends female staff needs, creates a better atmosphere for females to feel safe and secure,
and gives females staff job security.

Capacity Development

Most often capacity building opportunities are entitled for male staff, and not to the female staff.
Most often they are automatically excluded from this scheme. Once there was training on Result
Based Monitoring, in Mazar-e Sharif, and out of fifteen staff, there was only one female came
from Kabul. Sheryl Sandberg, in her book lean in, says that women can perform better if there
are called by name to speak on a matter. If GIZ respects women’s silence in matter of capacity
building, it does not reach its goal of gender equality. For a better result, we need to install a
new system, a system where women are called to take part, and learn to speak their voice
consequently, and get to higher positions.
In addition, capacity building opportunities that are outside of the country do not target women.
Moreover, since not all women actively engage in fighting for their rights, and arrange their
comfort zone, they rarely get a chance to have trip outside the country. In these cases, also it is
important to call women with name, so they can equally take part in out of country trip, broaden
their horizon, and get experience of different cultures and increase their knowledge.


As the UN millennium Development Goals mention, education is one of the main tools to
promote gender equality in all over the world. Where women do not receive education, they are
most vulnerable to violence, and face high rate of maternal mortality. Policewomen, who
therefore attend our programs, are not the outcome of our project, but rather the decision of
Ministry of Interior Affairs of Afghanistan’s policies. In order to increase the impact of our work in
promoting gender equality, we do not only focus on women, but men as well. We believe in the
impact as nationwide, and not just individuals level. Since the number of policewomen is a lot
lower than the number of policemen, we provide our services to both women and men equally.
We believe that if we focus on women only as oppressed, it could escalate the problem of
violence against women by the oppressors, since they feel unattended. However, looking at the
problem from the lens of both men and women creates a national dialogue and therefore leads
to a positive transformation nationwide.

Goals for the future

Success Story Booklet

With our initiative, for the year of 2016, there will be two success story booklets designed that
will focus on achievements of the police, and the characters in the booklet will consist of men
and women equally. In addition to covering other aspects of police success in the society, it will
also cover the aspect of police commitment on fighting violence against women.

Working with Partners

Working as a female in Afghanistan’s context is not always easy, but once we pass a threshold
of establishing trust with our partners, the job become more interesting and encouraging. I work
as public relations expert and often visit training and education command of Ministry of Interior
affairs, and also facilitate events that we hold along with our partners. In these meetings and
events most of the time, there are male police officers and commanders. However, knowing that
they respect me, and seeing that I bring a positive change in their attitude towards women
makes me feel more encouraged in my job.

Managerial position

In building we plan to advocate for an equal opportunity for women and men especially for
leadership and managerial positions in GIZ. It needs to be mentioned, that for this purpose there
is a group of committed male and female friends who strongly believe in equality of genders and
support women’s empowerment. We hope the work will pay off for female empowerment in GIZ.
Major challenges
Religious, cultural and social stereotypes among Afghan society are the major challenges for
gender equality. From religious and cultural prospective most of Afghan men (Families) do not
allow women to study, work or even allow presence of women in the society. In such situation in
a community speaking about gender equality, where the thoughts are on the contradiction of
gender equality is critical. Most of Afghan minds are fed from basic religious, cultural and social

The continuous civil war in Afghanistan has collapsed not only the economic infrastructures but
it has also succeeded to diminish every positive thought between men and women. The men
dominance characteristic of Afghan society has always given opportunities only for men, and
men could easily impose their thoughts on women.
Basically as observed, under such circumstances, in some issues the acceptance of women for
some men, as human being is not acceptable. But hopes are raising day by day inside educated
and intellectual cortex of Afghan people, who are striving and committed to stand for human
rights, individual freedom and gender equality.

Success Factors

Our main success factor in achieving our goals in our team we believe are firstly:

1. Trust and accountability – the members of our team are committed and through dialogue
and discussion we have built a culture of trust between the members of the groups, and we are
accountable to our actions and fulfillments before other team members. We respect everyone
point of view, and criticize each other, and create discussions. This has created a secured
atmosphere for us to share thought at any level, and expand our discussion to all levels out of
the organization, with partners, educational institutions and families. Our aim is to speak the
truth no matter at what circumstance, and fight for justice, and equality for all.
2. Motivation between the team members – We are a group of young committed individuals
who are motivated towards their goals and objectives. Our motivation comes form our belief that
is constantly updated by reading books and sharing the reading with the group members.
3. Effective Management – It is also important to mention that our management is supportive of
ideas that promote gender equality and creative initiatives in general. Therefore, we have the
possibility is taking available opportunities to enhance our goals.

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