A much-needed change: First female reporting center established in tribal areas

The reporting center has fourteen police personnel. All of them are women.

In an attempt to bridge the gender gap and encourage more women to report gender-based crimes, a police station in Kurram has launched its first-ever female reporting center.

Not only in Kurram, but this is also the first woman reporting center in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s tribal districts.

Kurram’s District Police Officer (DPO) Muhammad Quraish Khan stated that women in the tribal districts are hesitant to approach police stations with complaints because of the cultural barriers and male presence.

To address that, Quraish took the initiative and launched a separate reporting center for them.

He said that ever since he took charge last year, he found local police stations very unhelpful to the tribal women. The aim of creating these reporting centers is to create a safe environment for women in the ‘male-dominant’ society where they can come and lodge their complaints without any reluctance and insecurity.

The reporting center formally opened on the 1st of May 2020 in Parachinar, Kurram’s capital. It has fourteen police personnel. All of them are women.

With all the facilities needed to assist those who visit the center, it also has a playground for children of the officers who are on duty.

‘’I am getting positive feedback from locals’’, Khan said.

He added that if this idea turns out to be a success, he recommends the establishment of similar centers in all tribal areas.

A social activist from the tribal districts, Naila Altaf, said women weren’t allowed to go outside and file a complaint in the presence of male police officers. This led to more problems, as not being able to get help was frustrating the young women, leading to an increased suicide rate.

Most of these issues are related to the tribals’ joint-family system, like domestic abuse at the hands of in-laws.

The DPO Muhammad Quraish Khan said he is well aware that a change to the current social fabric would require long-term efforts. But with this female reporting center, he intends to take the first step and ensure women aren’t left out in the process.

‘’The transition period of the tribal region will take time. We’re here for women to get their constitutional rights’’, DPO Khan said.

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