Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
This was stated by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Training Sharjeel Kharal at a consultative session attended by many senior police officials from Karachi police, which was organised by Individualland Pakistan on Tuesday at Regent Plaza.
Kharal said that gender sensitisation in the police is needed for gender equality, adding that the Constitution provides equal status and opportunity to all citizens in the country. He said the importance of equal representation of women in the police department has a profound impact on policing and peace keeping.
Addressing police officials, he said, "You people talk very positively, but what happens when you are on the field? Such potential is needed on duty as well." He was of the view that a one-day session wasn't enough and change cannot be brought overnight. We need to work towards the issue constantly, he said.
Garden DSP Shehla Ghani said that police facilities must meet the needs of female officers. "There must be equal opportunities for promotions and training and there should also be mechanisms for female officers to share their experiences," Ghani said.
Gender equality is everyone’s issue
Finance and Welfare DSP Shiren Khan was of the view that such a session was an encouraging step, but it should be made a routine to bridge the gender gap. She added that it was a productive step which may broaden the vision of male police officials.
Orangi Town SP Abid Baloch said not only does gender awareness require intellectual effort, but sensitivity and open-mindedness as well. "It opens up the widest possible range of life options for both women and men," said Baloch.
Baloch said that when women started driving in Pakistan, people used to stare at them and now women are riding motorcycles. "Same is the case with being in the police; when women joined the police, people used to ask how a woman will do it? We have an example of Ghazal Perveen, who proved herself," Baloch said, adding that if a number of women would join the police, gender sensitivity may be dealt with normally.
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Saddar SP Tauqeer Naeem was of the view that citizen-centric policing is only possible if police personnel are sensitised on human and gender rights. "There is a strong need for us to sensitise our colleagues on gender sensitivity," Naeem believed.
Naeem added that there must be coordination between male and female officials and there was a lack of training in the police, which must be enhanced so that we may learn about such things and change our mindset.
A member of Sindh police's curriculum development department, Iqbal Ahmed Dehto, said that while police reforms do include citizens' exchange within the dynamics of service delivery, to make police stations gender-responsive involving women rights organisations, sensitising civil society to gender concerns and involving institutional stakeholders becomes imperative to break through social and cultural barriers.
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Dehto added that IG Allah Dino Khowaja was working to have more women in the police and every district must have a number of police women.
Event Coordinator Sundus Syeda informed that according to a research, there are a total of 4,020 women police personnel in Pakistan and there are a total of 19 women police stations in the country with five in Sindh.
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