Competent police women's potential 'unexploited'

22 Jul 2013 08:10
WINDHOEK, 22 JUL (NAMPA) – The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Deputy Inspector-General of Operations, Vilho Nghifindaka says there are many competent police women whose potential goes 'unexploited'.
Speaking here on Monday during the official opening of the four-day extra-ordinary meeting of NamPol's Women’s Network’s executive committee, Nghifindaka said such female police officers’ abilities are overlooked and their talent “hardly put to use”.
He, therefore, reminded the police's management that it is their collective responsibility to identify such officers and recommend them for career advancement to NamPol Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga in order to improve the position of women in policing.
The meeting, which is being attended by close to 20 executive police women, provides an opportunity for the participants to discuss contemporary women police issues at national, regional and international level, with a view towards identifying gender-oriented stereotypes, arresting the remnants of discriminatory practices against women police officers, and influencing both internal and external policies to positively address gender balance and equality for all in the police force.
Nghifindaka said there is a lot of work to be done to unlock more opportunities for women police personnel even though NamPol as an organisation has created structures and policies addressing gender balance in addition to creating opportunities for all.
“There are still a few of our male police officers who exhibit superiority complexes and or negative attitudes towards women police,” he stated.
On the other hand, the Deputy Inspector-General of Operations said there are still women police officers who display inferiority complexes and cultural submissiveness.
He then called on NamPol's Women’s Network to be aggressive in raising awareness amongst both women and men in uniform to play their role so as to guarantee equality in the work place.
“Collectively, we have to ensure that more women are recruited to join the force, more women police are trained, more women police are given opportunities to serve in all fields of policing, more women are given opportunities to influence policies, and more women are promoted to posts of high responsibility,” he emphasised.
NamPol has been promoting the concept of gender balance since 1990, and the promotion of female police officers has been accelerated in recent years.
Women police staff have been promoted to the third highest line of command - holding the rank of commissioner, and are also heading directorates and serving as regional commanders, deputy regional commanders, regional crime investigations' coordinators, heads of divisions, stations' commanders and unit commanders, amongst others.
Over 34 per cent of the police force is female.