The Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoIA) announced Tuesday that it has recruited 13,000 Afghan women to help in security procedures at polling centers across Afghanistan on election day, responding to concerns that female voters would have to be searched by male security guards before entering the polls.
Many election officials and activists had expressed worries that female voters would be kept from going to the polls if there were not enough female security guards to ensure that men were not giving pat-downs to women. Securing the polls for election day is a top priority for the MoIA, yet election officials have been adamant about getting women out to vote in large numbers this year.
At a ceremony for International Women's Day, back on March 8th, the Minister of Interior Affairs, Mohammad Omar Daudzai, spoke about election security and commended the security forces for their work during the campaign season.
Mr. Daudzai also praised policewomens' sacrifices and listed off the names of "great policewomen", who have been killed in the line of duty. Bebe Negara, Mariam, Gul Pari, Zarghuna, Islam Bebe, Fatema, Shah Bebe and Malalai Kakar were all mentioned by the Minister.
“The statistics of the past six months put police causalities at 20 every 24 hours, but right now, the figure has reduced to three or four in 24 hours," Daudzai said. "The reduction means that enemies have been destroyed and police forces are stronger and more ready than ever before."