Police Constable Kausar charts a new career path for women
Kausar is the elder of two daughters born in the small village of Hasomat Serian in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, Pakistan. In this highly conservative region, many girls are denied the opportunity to receive an education, let alone to embark upon a career. Kausar did both. Today, she is the only woman from her village with an education, and is now working as its first police officer, a constable.
She attributes this ground-breaking career path to her parents’ support. “Behind every successful daughter there is a father,” she says. “Nothing was possible without the help of my father, who encouraged me to get the job of my choice.”
Indeed, she adds, “It was a day of success for my parents when they learned of my selection in the KP police.” Today, her parents and her husband are her most fervent supporters.
As the elder sister, and with no brothers, Kausar knew from an early age that it was up to her to support her parents as they aged, and to ensure that her sister received opportunities in life. “I am the only son of my father and he is proud of me, that is what he always says,” she remarks.
Recently, Kausar had the opportunity to attend a training on basic information technology through UNDP’s Strengthening Rule of Law Programme, with funding from the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. This programme aims to improve the quality of policing in areas of KP province that have been affected by violence and insecurity. The long-term objective is to strengthen the rule of law by ensuring that law enforcement officials provide high quality, prompt and responsive services to the communities they serve.
A critical part of this is to bring them up to speed with modern methods such as electronic filing. The project also funds the establishment of fully-equipped model police stations where the staff are trained on community policing, crime scene managemenet communication skills and gender-responsive policing.
Having been a member of the police force since 2014, Kausar immediately sees that these innovations will help. “Knowledge of basic information technology can empower us to perform according to advanced standards, it’s the need of the day,” she says. “I have heard that a few police stations have been converted to model police stations, where every facility is available to make policing more effective. It would be great if all police stations had the same structure and practices.”
With newfound training and ongoing support, Kausar is proud of the role she plays in her family and community. “We girls are multitaskers!” she says. “I am doing my job and looking after my parents and husband as well.”