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First Afghan Woman Appointed District Police Chief

First Female Police Chief Takes The Helm In Kabul District
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WATCH: First female police chief Jamila Bayaz takes the helm in Kabul district.

KABUL -- A woman has been appointed as a district police chief for the first time in Afghanistan.

The Interior Ministry named Colonel Jamila Bayaz on January 14 as head of Kabul's District 1, a business and government-administration district in the old-city neighborhood.

She is the first woman to become a district police chief in Afghanistan, where less than 1 percent of police officers are women.

Bayaz told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that she accepted the post after she was granted "full authority."

Interior Minister Mohammad Omar Daudzai gave her "strong backing," she said.

"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 added.

Bayaz, 50, previously worked in the investigative branch at Kabul police headquarters.

There are some 1,500 women working as police officers in Afghanistan and who serve primarily in gender and administrative units.

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.

Sediqqi said the ministry also planned to appoint female officers to higher security posts.

With reporting by dpa