Colonel Husnia Yosufi is the Head of the Central Family Response Unit (FRU) at the Crime Investigation Department of the Afghan MoI, a position she has held for a year. Her daily work involves monitoring and investigating cases of domestic violence in Afghanistan.
Her police career, which spans 32 years, began at the Crime Investigation Department of the National Directorate for Security (NDS), where she monitored various police detention centres for women and investigated all manner of cases involving women. “Being a female police officer is an honour,” she says.
More support for female officers
Colonel Yosufi, whose son is also a police officer, firmly believes it is important that more women join the police force – a conviction that has been boosted by the positive changes in working conditions for female Afghan police officers that she has witnessed during the last couple of years: “Female police officers increasingly have the full support of police chiefs in the provinces. In fact, those who work in more volatile environments are paid higher for their strong commitment.” Such progress has led her to believe that women can join the police without any fear.
Added value to the ANP
Her current role involves visiting FRU Units in various police districts in Kabul to monitor both the current situation on family-related issues and the working conditions of female officers in those units. “It is good to see people, especially women, reporting about domestic violence without any fear. Our units have investigated many cases in which perpetrators have been jailed and vulnerable people have received justice and support. This is a big achievement of the Afghan female police. We should be proud of what we can add to the ANP as female police officers,” she says.
The colonel is the first to admit that there are a number of real challenges that female police officers still face – security and working environment for example – issues which might discourage them from police work. She is nevertheless hopeful that the security situation will get even better with the increased participation of women in the police force. “We have got to work together with our male colleagues to make things better,” she adds.
Fighting domestic violence
During her time as the Head of the FRU, more than 1 000 cases of violence have been registered. She says that her past positions have trained her for her current role: “My former jobs as an investigator with the National Directorate for Security and as head of various female detention centres have prepared me well for identifying problems that women face and seeking solutions to them.”
Colonel Yosufi is in no doubt that when it comes to domestic violence, most cases should be dealt with by female police officers: “Women are needed in operations, crime detection and crime investigation. A woman understands another woman better. It is therefore important that cases of violence against women are investigated by women.”