Broken Arrow Army Captain Building Trust In Afghanistan

Friday, August 30th 2013, 9:22 pm
By: News On 6

An Oklahoma soldier is breaking barriers in Afghanistan. Broken Arrow Captain Kelly Hasselman trains female soldiers from around the world how to engage with Afghan women.

She's working in Kandahar, one of the most culturally conservative regions of Afghanistan.

In a culture where sexes are kept separate, Hasselman says women in uniform are treated as a "third gender," not quite a man, but not really a woman.

"Sometimes the Afghan men don't necessarily know if they want them to talk to their women, however the more we go out, the more we build rapport with the local population, they see that we're not as threatening as they think. We go in and we meet with their women, and we build rapport through that way, and then we get invited back," said Captain Kelly Hasselman.

The "Female Engagement Teams" are pivotal to building trust with the Afghan people.