Pakistan’s Inspiration – Rafia Baig, country’s first woman to join the Bomb Disposal Unit

We don’t have to wait till Women’s Day to celebrate an inspiration like Rafia, who with her determination not only has changed the image of women and their capabilities overall but their role reinstates women’s space in LEAs (Law Enforcement Agencies).

Hailing from KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Rafia Baig comes from an educated and reputed family. Her own academic credentials, like her professional career, are no less either. She has two Masters degrees in International Relations. With that, she also pursued another Master’s degree in economics. She worked at the International Rescue Committee and developed a passion for Law. Pursuing her new passion, she enrolled herself in LLB.

Seeing the deteriorating law and order situation in the province, Rafia vowed to contribute to the best of her energy and capability and was compelled to join the force. She joined police approximately eight years ago and has performed her duties in crucial red zone areas. She is known for her vigilance and valour in the lines of duty.

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The reason why stories like that of Rafia need to be talked about again and again, tirelessly, is because on a bigger picture, women make less than 2% of our police force. According to the statistics shared by NBP (National Police Bureau) back in 2017, there are 391,364 police personnel across the country, among which only 5,731 are women. The sharp gender contrast shows that more women need to choose it as a career option, which they are hesitant to because of societal barriers. Not only will it help bridge the gender gap, it will also encourage more women to report and trust police, which they are hesitant to do because of the fear of being manipulated at their hands.
With department policies to be reviewed to provide equal opportunities in the department regardless of gender, Pakistan’s first ever female AIG police, Helena Saeed, says ”the placement of women in active policing based on their skills is crucial to bridge the gender gap”.
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