Women make up just 0.86 per cent of the police force. And of those that are recruited, few rise to positions like investigation officer because their male colleagues don’t take them seriously, said female officers at a discussion on Friday.
The consultative session was the second of three planned by Indivdualland, a not-for-profit consultancy, and the Norwegian embassy. The events aim to suggest gender reform in the police department. The final session will be held in Islamabad on October 16.
“The female police officials are usually kept away from demanding field duties and confined to office work,” said Head Constable Noreen Afzal of the Railway Police, at Friday’s discussion.
“The career paths are not really defined for policewomen. They are often not encouraged by senior officers [to take on demanding roles], despite the fact that men and women work the same hours and get the same training,” said Constable Asifa Hussain.
The workshop participants were told that there were some 50 model police stations in the country where women officers had been appointed, supposedly to make it easier for women complainants. However, at some of these police stations, not a single FIR had been registered in 10 years, the participants were told.
“A recent survey by Individualland shows that most female police officials are not happy at all about their working conditions. They complain about male dominance in the department and getting fewer opportunities to progress,” said Sundas Hussain, the project coordinator.
The sessions are an attempt at showcasing and recognising the work done by policewomen, as well as highlighting the challenges they are confronted with, she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2012.