Asia

Female Afghan officers receive military training in India

Nearly two dozen female Afghan officers are receiving weapons training at a military academy in southern India.

Media reports said Wednesday that the women had learned tactics and logistical and navigational skills at the academy in the southern Indian city of Chennai.

This week they were taught how to use an AK-47 and given classroom training in ambush situations. They will also learn how to deal with computer-simulated sieges during the three-week crash course, which ends on December 24.

The course is reported to be a pilot for a full training scheme being planned for next year as part of efforts by the Afghan National Army to recruit more women.

They are the first Afghan women to attend the academy, which has been training men from the war-ravaged country’s military for several years.

The Kabul government has said that it wants women to make up 10 percent of the armed forces.

Afghan women face the danger of fighting in their homeland. Those who sign up say they face criticism for their choice.

Afghan girls were banned from education and women were not allowed outside under the Taliban’s 1996-2001 regime in Afghanistan.

Gender equality remains a distant dream across Afghanistan, in spite of official promises.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, and overthrew the Taliban regime. But insecurity remains in the country despite the presence of foreign forces.

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