The year 2020 has increased the rule of law sector’s workload by multiple folds; increase in violence related cases, closure of courts due to strict lockdowns, police officers on the frontline and limited trainings for the justice sector professionals has caused the justice sector has suffer this past year.
This has also resulted in an increased opportunity for UNDP Amn-o-Insaf (AOI) Programme to work on further building the capacity of the justice sector besides empowering communities and improving justice services towards enhanced peace and stability in the country.
This year, the programme worked on three capacity building projects including the construction of the Phase II of Joint Police Training Center Nowshera with a dedicated hostel for women, Anti-Narcotics Force Women’s Hostel in Islamabad and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prosecution Academy. Each of these training academies will ensure better learning and professionalizing of the rule of law sector professionals, increase women’s representation and provide conducive environments to them for growth.
Expansion of Joint Police Training Center Nowshera to train more women officers
One of the remarkable accomplishments of 2020 was the completion of the Joint Police Training Center (JPTC) Nowshera Phase II. Spread over 88 acres, phase II of the center includes construction of an academic block, barracks, a quarter guard, multipurpose hall, an assembly hall, health care centre, separate hostels and residences for both men and women officers.
The construction is not only complete but over one million dollars have also been saved by using cost effective methods. These savings have been utilized for building an additional Academic Block for 500 students, a hostel for 60 officers, another barrack for 200 students and an additional floor of the Quick Response Force building.
JPTC is a remarkable addition to police forces training facilitates because it caters to the needs of the women personnel in Pakistan’s police force. It is designed keeping in mind that training courses often occur on campus or far from homes and basic women dormitories are not enough for officers who are also mothers.
When women officers who are also mothers cannot join forces due to lack of facilities offered at training institutions, the pool of women applicants willing to join forces shrinks even further. Women, regardless of their maternal status and the duties that come with it, should be encouraged to join the police force. Basic facilities should be available to make this career path easy and viable for them.
With only 700 women police officers amounting to approximately 1% of the established force in KP currently1, JPTC Nowshera aims to capacitate and train women officers while providing them with a comfortable and conducive environment for their learning and professional development.
Providing such services conveys a powerful message about the importance of women’s participation and engagement in police forces not only to other women personnel but also their male colleagues as well.
Increasing women’s representation in Pakistan’s police forces with our Anti-Narcotics Force Women’s Hostel in Islamabad
Despite the 10% set quota for female police officers in the force by Government of Pakistan, the percentage of women in police remains below 1.5% in Pakistan2. Women's empowerment is at the heart of UNDP’s mandate and intrinsic to its development approach. Ensuring both womenand men’s equal participation, in governance processes and decision-making, are preconditions for achieving inclusive and effective democratic governance in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Amongst our many interventions, is also the Anti-Narcotics Force Women’s Hostel in Islamabad with a child day care facility. To be completed in 2021, the facility will resolve accommodation related challenges for the women personnel who come to train at the ANF Academy at Rawalpindi or are currently serving in the twin cities. Lack of accommodation options have been a deterrent for women to join the force and participate in training at the ANF Academy. This initiative will encourage more women to join the ANF and eventually lead them to take positions where they can influence development of policy and priorities at institution.
We are also in the process of extension of training and living facilities of the ANF Academy Rawalpindi with a hostel for women trainees and trainers as well as a child day care facility.
Capacity building of KP prosecutors with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prosecution Academy
Although women are generally underrepresented in the legal profession in Pakistan, the numbers are even lower in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. UNDP is striving to increase their representation in the province by building a Prosecution Academy in Peshawar. The construction of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prosecution Academy has been in progress since December 2019 and despite the pandemic, 65% of the construction work has been completed, with efforts to end it by March 2021.
This academy will be fully functional with training and meeting halls, monitoring and research rooms, auditorium, library and computer labs as well as a day care facility and dedicated residential area, gymnasium and recreational lounges.
The KP Prosecution Academy will train lawyers and prosecutors on various kinds of violence, laws related to children, terrorism, fraud, cybercrimes among others. Simultaneously, they will also be trained on developing work ethics, communication and advocacy skills that are integral to their roles.
With the right infrastructural support, enhanced capacity within the rule of law sector and more gender inclusive institutions, the rule of law sector in Pakistan is headed in the right direction. UNDP is hopeful to see a strengthened rule of law in Pakistan in the future.
1. Annual Review Summary- Peacebuilding Support to the Post Crisis Needs Assessment programme (PSP)
2. Guf News: Women make less than 2% of Pakistani Police Force https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/women-make-up-less-than-2-per-cent-of-pakistans-police-force-1.2020274