ISIS in the Crosshairs of Afghan Women


An Afghani woman learns to use a gun.
An Afghani woman learns to use a gun. (Photo: Ed Jones/Getty Images)


While Islamist terror organizations continue to destroy Afghanistan, a group of women are standing up – and arming themselves — to fight them.

Afghanistan’s police force is training local women to fight the Taliban and Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and is providing them with weapons to do so. Many of the women who have been trained have lost sons, husbands or other family members due to the ongoing insugency in the country.

One woman, who is now a fighter, said that if she fears ISIS and the Taliban, then there will be no future for her and her people.

Local women are being trained by female police officers in small weapons as well as basic fighting tactics, especially in northern Afghanistan, where attacks have been particularly prevalent.

Najeeba, one of the police officers responsible for the instruction, said that every week about 40-50 women join new training sessions

Not all of Afghan’s population approves of women fighters or women in the police force or army, but due to the dire situation of the country, male security forces have found themselves with no option but to cooperate with the women.

Currently, Afghani security forces control only about 60 percent of the country, according to a report by the general inspector for the Department of the General Rehabilitation of Afghanistan.

“We are forced to recruit women, even though fighting is not a job for women, but the current situation has forced us to work with them. Women have joined the police force, as well as the army,” said Gen. Rahmat, a member of the police force in Jowjzan.

Fighting the Taliban and the Islamic state is very dangerous for these women, but many of them view it as an obligation to their country.

One woman currently fighting, Sara Chala, said the Taliban killed her son, leaving her to take care of his children. “I have to avenge him,” she said. “I make dinner for my grandchildren and right after I grab my weapon, and I do my duty in fighting Taliban and ISIS.”





Ran Meir
Shillman Fellow Ran Meir is Clarion Project's Arab affairs analyst.

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