Strengthening the role of women in law enforcement

Strengthening the role of women in law enforcement

23 March 2017, United Nations Headquarters, New York

United Nations, New York, 23 March 2017. On the occasion of the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), in cooperation with Criminologists without Borders and International Sociological Association, has organized the side event “Strengthening the role of women in law enforcement” which was held on Thursday, 23 March 2017, at the United Nations HQs in New York.

UNICRI organized this event with the purpose to create an opportunity for discussing the main challenges, the reforms already undertaken and the good practices developed to date by Member States to enhance the role of women in law enforcement agencies. The United Nations encourage and promote gender-sensitive policing throughout the work of Member States Police, based on the model of the UN Police, as an operational law enforcement necessity to address the differentiated needs of women, men, girls and boys.The scope of this event has been to examine the importance of women in law enforcement and to highlight the positive effects of their congruous presence in the police system.

As stated by the UNICRI Director, Ms. Cindy J. Smith, during her opening remarks, “Women bring a unique dynamic to policing and female officers are often competent in crucial components of community policing. Generally, women are good communicators with great interpersonal skills, and victims feel more comfortable discussing the details of a crime with a female officer. We believe that now it is time to move a step forward and go beyond and start promoting a new vision. Indeed there is no need to have a reason to enhance the role of women in law enforcement. Law enforcement should reflect the value of the society where women should have equal opportunities as men.”

Member States has to be committed to systematically integrate a gender perspective in all entities, and to formulate public policies, strategies, and proposals aimed at promoting women's human rights and gender equality in all spheres of public and private life, considering their diversity and their life cycles. In addition, it is a must for Member States to tackle gender discrimination in the workplace and advance gender equality at any level, and to develop policies and measures aimed at expanding the occupational choices of women, the acquisition of skills, training and extending social protection and promoting social dialogue.

Referring to the United Nations Peacekeeping, in 2012, women were 3% of military personnel and 10% of police personnel in UN Peacekeeping missions. The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) endorsed the importance of women peacekeepers to reduce conflict and confrontation, improve support for local women, provide role models for women in the community and a greater sense of security to local populations - including women and children - and to broaden the skill set available within a peacekeeping mission.

In their closing remarks, Ms. Suchaya Mokkhasen, Special Case Officer at Department of Investigation under the Ministry of Justice from Thailand and Ms. Kartika Rahman, Assistant Superintendent of the Royal Brunei Police Force, and Senior Liaison Officer, INTERPOL and ASEANAPOL Unit, Commissioner of Police Secretariat, Royal Brunei Police Force have shared with a numerous and attentive audience their different working experience.

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