- Sonia Shamroz Khan, a police officer in Battagram, KPK, received the ‘Officer of the Year’ award from the International Association of Women Police in New Zealand for her outstanding contributions to law enforcement and her dedication to combating violence against women.
- Khan’s achievements during her tenure as DPO in Chitral included establishing a complaint cell for women to address issues related to violence against women and addressing challenges like forced marriages.
- She activated women protection cells in response to rising female suicides attributed to gender-based violence and underage marriages, encouraging more women to report their problems to the police.
Sonia Shamroz Khan, the District Police Officer and Senior Superintendent of Police in Battagram, KPK has garnered international acclaim for her outstanding service. She was honored with the ‘Officer of the Year’ award by the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) in Auckland, New Zealand.
The award recognized her remarkable contributions to law enforcement, innovative policing approaches, and unwavering commitment to combating violence against women throughout her career.
‘I am the First Asian and Second Muslim to get Officer of the Year Award’: Sonia Shamroz Khan
Khan was previously stationed in Chitral where she served as the DPO, she achieved notable milestones including the establishment of a complaint cell for women to address various issues related to violence against women. She worked on cases of forced marriages and other issues showcasing an important role in addressing these challenges.
“I am the first Asian and second Muslim woman to receive this Officer of the Year award for my policing and services to the community.”
She further added how her presence encouraged women to share their issues and report crimes and violence against women.
“My presence encouraged female complainants to speak up and share their problems which led to enhanced reporting of women related issues at local police stations.”
Khan has dedicated her award to her parents, the police force and survivors of gender-based violence. She said,
“We succeeded in resolving the grievances of women in Chitral. An increase in women reporting [crimes], fighting against gender-based violence and female participation in community policing were main reasons behind why I got this award.”
Women Protection Cells Activated in Chitral for Crimes Against Women
During her tenure in Chitral, Khan noted a disturbing increase in female suicides, primarily attributed to gender-based violence and underage marriages. To address this concerning trend, she had to engage in a multifaceted effort to activate women protection cells. As a result of these efforts, an increasing number of women began to step forward and report their issues to the police.
“While serving in Chitral, I played a lead role in passing a resolution in the local government to streamline marriages of local women with non-local men,” Khan said. “I established a formal procedure which required non-locals to undergo a verification procedure which considerably reduced marriage-related complaints and the problem of underage weddings.”
Khan has been lauded for her efforts by her seniors, Naila Altaf a women rights activist said Khan’s award was a moment of pride for all. Naila said,
“We have another woman police officer deputed in Kurram tribal district. Bringing in more women police officers into the force is a source of inspiration for women to step forward and report cases of violence without hesitation.”
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