Afghan women are increasingly embracing the uniform of the Afghan National Army (ANA) to stand beside their brave brothers in the service of the country.
Kandak e Malalai (Malalai Battalion) in Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC) is the institution facilitating training for these brave women to fulfil their dreams.
The rising number of female recruits in the ANA, according to Lieutenant Colonel Fahima Messbah, the Commander of Malalai Battalion, was the reason to promote the Company into a Battalion. "260 female officers, sergeants and soldiers graduated from Malalai Battalion since its inception as a company in KMTC six years ago," she told Sada e Azadi. "The number is increasing by the day."
Attending the Malalai Battalion, all female recruits have the opportunity to be trained in one of the available professions. Lt. Col. Messbah said that in addition to the regular military training including rifle handling, the trainees at the first level, learn first-aid, radio communication, topography, English and computer literacy. "They are offered to train further in the fields of human resources, logistics, public affairs and communications," she added.
The world-class training centre at the KMTC provides separate facilities for the females attending the Malalai Battalion. "The trainees enjoy modern classrooms equipped with computers, a gymnasium, a dining facility, and a conference room," Lt. Col. Messbah explained. "They also receive a good salary during their training."
Khadija Azizi, a trainee in the Malalai Battalion, explained her reason for joining the ANA three months ago.
"I am proud of my decision; I always wanted to serve my people and defend my country from the enemies of peace," she told Sada e Azadi.
"Now with the training I received, I have a profession for the rest of my life, and I earn a well-paid salary ‘during my training’ that provides for my family."
Another proud trainee at the Malalai Battalion, Fatima Ahmadi, said that it was her choice and her family's support to join the ANA. "I am honoured to wear the ANA uniform and being part of the force that maintains peace and stability in my country," she said.
"I encourage my Afghan sisters to join the ANA and make a difference to prosper our nation."