Afghanistan's first-ever female district police chief, Col. Jamila Bayaz, 50, left, talks to her secretary at her office in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
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Bayaz, 50, is the first woman to be promoted to run an entire district – the highest front-line appointment for an Afghan policewoman. With just two days on the job, she said she feels up to the challenge despite the threat, as policewomen are among the Taliban's top targets.In the past seven months, several prominent women have been attacked, including two Afghan police officers who were killed in the south, an Indian author living in eastern Afghanistan who was killed years after her memoir about life under Taliban rule became a Bollywood film, and an Afghan senator who was wounded in an ambush.During the Taliban's harsh five-year rule, Bayaz stayed at home taking care of her children.Bayaz acknowledges the danger.In 2005, the national police force employed just 180 women out of 53,400 personnel, the report said.Despite the challenges, recruiting more women to serve as police could have major benefits for the Afghan population, especially women and girls who feel uncomfortable or even afraid reporting crimes to male police, Oxfam said.
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