Khanom Gol is a 38-year-old Afghan woman living in Herat province and she is the first woman with the courage to change tradition and work as a police officer in the traffic department.

While the dark and hateful Taliban regime ruled in Afghanistan, Khanom Gol, like other women, was imprisoned in her house and deprived of all rights and privileges.

She passed every day of her pitiable life wishing that one day she would be rescued from captivity. She could only stay at home and take care of her children. She couldn’t even go to buy something from the bazaar because most of the time the Taliban would beat the people there. They believed that unrelated men shouldn’t socialize with women; they should not meet them or talk to them and hear their voices.

So all the women remained at home. Khanom Gol’s activities can be summarized in four words: vacuum, cleaning, washing, cooking.

Finally the Taliban’s black regime was defeated and all Afghan people, especially women, were released from the cage.

By forming the new government in Afghanistan, the women who lived in the hope of progress began a new chapter in the book of fate.  In this chapter there was freedom instead of bondage and opportunity for progress. Khanom Gol always hoped for this.

Khanom Gol always saw herself in her dreams as a policewoman. Even though the Taliban regime was defeated, everything was still not perfect for women. Bad customs and traditions remained and prevented women from reaching their wishes and their rights. Traditions blocked any Afghan women from working as a police officer. Khanom Gol fought against those beliefs.

She decided she would join the police force, and she went to study at the Military Training Center for two years. She was determined to work in the police headquarters of Herat as a police officer, and she did this job for about two years.

There were no policewomen ready to work in the traffic department, though some other policewomen worked in Herat’s police headquarters. The visitors to the traffic department were all men, so no women worked there. But the department needed help.

This time Khanom Gol again stood up against society’s bad customs, and although her friends and some relations tried to dissuade her, she was too strong willed and she started her work in the traffic department. After she started another woman with courage also joined.

Now the women of Herat who are studying how to drive and need driver’s licenses from the traffic department find these two women working there. It makes them more comfortable to ask them questions or ask for help.

In this way, we can say Khanom Gol is a hero. She suffered many problems but made the area conducive to other women to work beside men in society. She changed the tradition. She says that she feels like a good example for people and especially for women.

Her current level is Dreyom Satnmn and one of her best wishes is to move up to the general level.

Khanom Gol has eight children and she hopes they also will become useful people in society. By writing Khanom Gol’s life story, I want to show that Afghan women are interested in improving their lives and are capable of doing it if conditions are favorable for them. I think that we should be proud of not only Khanom Gol, but other women in our society like her.

By Zahra M.

Photo of Khanom Gol by the author