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 October 26, 2003
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Women start policing in Afghanistan's male-dominated society%)
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Kabul, Afghanistan-AP -- A new look is slowly coming to Afghanistan's police force.

Six women are among the latest crop of recruits being trained at the country's new police academy in Kabul.

It marks a big change from rules imposed by the former Taliban regime. Women were barred from working, and they have been viewed for centuries as second-class citizens.

Afghan police commanders are aiming to have two-thousand women among an overall force of 20-thousand officers. But only 30 women have graduated since the police academy opened in March 2002.

One 19-year-old member of the latest cadet class says she's there to show that women can work together with men. But during a recent recruiting drive at a local high school, many girls wondered how they could remain a Muslim and at the same time work for the police.

And even some police officials admit that it's going to take a while to overcome the way their society has been indoctrinated by al-Qaida propaganda.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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