Colonel Jamila Bayazhas been appointed as a district police chief in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the first woman to hold the position in a country where just one percent (approximately 1,500) of police officers are women.
It is not the first time she has been offered the position; however, it is the first time that she has accepted it. "Before this post, I was offered a similar one but I refused to accept it because I told them I would not accept a symbolic job," she said.
50-year-old Bayaz previously worked in the investigative branch at Kabul police headquarters. She believes women are just as capable as men and that soon there will be a female Provincial Police Chief in Afghanistan.
"This is a chance not just for me, but for the women of Afghanistan I will not waste it. I will prove that we can handle this burden," she promises
On what sounds like an extremely promising note, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the ministry planned to increase the number of female police officers to 10,000 by the end of the year and appoint more women to higher security posts.
In a land where women have few public posts and are usually restricted to the four walls of their homes, this is a great achievement.
Of course, she has been threatened by the Taliban. “We will target her latter or sooner. This is not Afghan society and we will not allow anybody to change our society”, their message said.
In August last year, insurgents ambushed the convoy of a female Afghan senator, seriously wounding her and killing her eight-year-old daughter and a bodyguard.
But Col Bayaz is relentless. "I know it is a complicate job, especially as a woman, but instead of fear for possible attacks from enemies and religious extremists unable to locate gender in this performance, I promise to do my work as well or better than a man," she said.
She added that the most radical Taliban are not only opposed to women working outside homes, but also fight against men with a different way of thinking.