Afghan Women in ANDSF have a mission to make Afghanistan safer

Train, Advise, Assist is the core of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the gender advisors not only advise the women in the Afghan National Police or the Afghan National Army, but also to RS and Afghan Commanders.
15 Oct 2018

By Brynja Fridriksdottir

‘’In my opinion all females that work in the security sector as we are working in police defense are heroes, solely for the reason it’s not accepted within their families and within their network where they are living in,’’ says Dutch Maj. Johanna, Senior Gender Representative at Train, Advise, Assist Command - North, Camp Marmal, Mazar-i-Sharif.  "They have a mission for themselves, they all want to make this country a little bit safer for their families and for their colleague females and females living in this country so for me they are heroes and it’s very nice to have the opportunity to help them getting even more ambitious.’’

Major Johanna is one of two Dutch gender advisors who’s job is to watch and to work on the intergration of female in the military and within the uniformed police, here in Afghanistan.
 
‘’We had some very interesting projects in our time here in Afghanistan. One of them was the first female  initial police training with 70 police women of the 707th  and 808th police zone at the STC (training center) over here getting a really focused police training,” says Johanna.
 
Other gender projects include professional courses in order for the women to gain more knowledge such as computer courses, signal school course and courses in English.
 
Johanna says the English course is a big step for the women in order to have a conversation in another language. She says the course will really help them make a career step, or go to officer school – which now-a-days is still done in Turkey – so they need to have some English skills for that.

"I really think we made small steps over here that will help the women to move forward.’’

Train, Advise, Assist is the core of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the gender advisors not only advise the women in the Afghan National Police or the Afghan National Army, but also to RS and Afghan Commanders.

‘’As a gender advisor I think you have a very unique position within RS. Firstly because we have to go out and TAA the women so we are advisors. On the other hand we are advisors to the commander of TAAC-N, to all the commanders in the Afghan army and to the senior advisors here within Resolute Support,’’ says Johanna.

As Johanna's deployment comes to an end after almost six months in Afghanistan, she says there are many things to reflect on.

"I’ve learned very much about Afghanistan, how the women are living and working in this country and what it takes for them to live and work here. It is amazing working here, in an international environment with 21 nationalities [in TAAC-North], and yes, it has been very nice.”

 

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