Every now and then a story comes along which hints at the profound degree of change our involvement in Afghanistan can bring. Unless you’re a total cultural relativist, I think you’d agree that it’s a positive change. This story from the UK MOD speaks to how the role of women in Afghan society is changing. MP+

MOD police officer boosts Afghan female police
A Military Operations news article
15 Oct 09

Isabella McManus training a female Afghan police recruit in the use of firearms
[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

MOD police officer Isabella McManus is the first British female police officer to work in Afghanistan training and mentoring the Afghan National Police. Since her arrival the number of women who want to join Afghanistan’s Police Force has doubled.

Isabella McManus has been in the MOD Police for 22 years but decided to give herself a new challenge and volunteered to serve in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, as a mentor and advisor to the local police force.

Explaining how she became so involved with female recruits in particular, Ms McManus said:

“It wasn’t my job to start mentoring the women specifically but they struck a chord with me. They were ignored entirely at the police headquarters and it wasn’t right.

“They needed a uniform giving them some status and they needed training and equipment. I’ve fought those battles for them every step of the way and we are getting somewhere. The women are empowered and it’s great to see.

“Someone needed to develop them and champion their cause. I have 22 years of experience in the service and I am only too happy to pass this knowledge on to them. I love to help people and that is why I am so passionate about getting the right results for these women.”

Read then whole story here.