Women, Police and Security: Reforming the Afghan National Police (Paperback)
As the first anniversary of the Taliban's return to power approaches in August 2022, many people are reflecting on the role of the international community in Afghanistan over the last 20 years. This new book provides insights into efforts by the international community to increase women's participation in the male-dominated security sector. Drawing on both face-to-face and online interviews, and other previously unpublished data, Melissa Jardine, PhD. provides in-depth insights into why - despite considerable investment - there was relatively little success in gender-sensitive reforms. Her research identifies how overall international police assistance was often detrimental to women-focused reforms, and that a lack of understanding of the Afghan context resulted in interventions that did not meet the needs of women who were recruited into the Afghan National Police.
Melissa Jardine, PhD. travelled to Afghanistan during the COVID19 pandemic to undertake the research in March 2021. The book consists of the report she prepared for the United Nations which was unpublished due to the advance of the Taliban. The findings are now being revealed for the first time to provide a record of gender-sensitive reforms within the Afghan National Police, and to serve as useful lessons for reforms in other contexts - especially in Islamic or traditional societies. Crucial guidance is offered in relation to the importance of South-to-South sharing of knowledge and practice and prioritising localised input into approaches funded or led by the international community - who are typically from the Global North.
The book will be useful for academics and practitioners with an interest in police reform and gender-responsive changes for police institutions, especially in the Global South, but also for people in 'developed' countries who are working towards increasing diversity among police to better understand the diversity of needs and aspirations among women with different ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds.