The Pamir Times readers are well aware that March 2011 is Women’s History Month. Today, I would like to avail this opportunity to write about a successful professional WOMAN who works for our nation in the department of police, since last fifteen years.
Hussan Zareen Zafar from Gojal Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan, is the first lady police officer who works for the Punjab Motor way for the last five years. An alumnus of the Aga Khan Academy Karimabad, Hunza, she joined this profession and department in 1996 to lead, giving the an idea to the female young generation to work in a non-traditional career. After accomplishment of her college education, she decided to join the Police Force.
Coming from a traditional area, girls of her age were persuing careers as teachers, nurses and very few in engineering and medicine. The police force was seen as more of a man’s job.
Meeting Zareen Zaffar in a social gathering few years ago, it was my utmost passion to know about her choice of profession as a police officer. She said, “I chose this profession because it is a challenging profession for women in our area”. She further explained that initially it was unbelievable for her parents, siblings, family members, friends and relatives that she wanted to join the police force. However, she shared her choice of profession with her uncle (Mr.Ghulam-ud-Din), who has worked as Chairman of the AKES, Northern Areas, and is one of the founders of Al – Amyn Model School, Gulmit. He has also led the Hunza Educational Resource Project (HERP).
“He has always encouraged women’s role in our society and region”, Zareen said “It was my uncle’s encouragement to me about my choice of career to join the police force”, she further said. Zareen’s uncle also mentioned to her the hurdles and challenges that she might face while joining the profession and advised her to be strong and cope with the challenges.
Obtaining best performance certificate during her training gives us an idea about how passionate Zareen was towards her profession and her inner-strengths for facing the challenges within the Police department.
In 2008, Zareen got an award from Governor of the Punjab province for arresting members of a criminal gang on the Lahore Motorway.
A fundamental question that may be asked at this point is, why do we need women police officers in our region and society. The first and most important reason, for encouraging women to take this profession is, to show that women are capable of becoming good cops.
Research has proven that the representation of women in police has reduced crime rate and women violation. It is also analyzed through research that women police officers generally have different philosophy that encourages more talking where men police encourages more violence when making arrests.
If we look at the crime rate in our region, most of the crimes are related to violation against women. Also when we study the rationale of women suicide and murder cases in our area, we believe that we need successful women police officers like Zareen Zaffar to work on these issues and to eradicate gender-based violence from our region and society.
I wish all the best for her future endeavors in bringing change in perception and practices for better serving for her country and society.