Towards a ‘Women-Oriented’ Approach to Post-Conflict Policing: Interpreting National Experience(s) and Intergovernmental Aspirations
In regard to the United Nations’ (UN) framework for promoting gender equality in policing, including women in national police forces remains a global challenge. Even countries possessing a stable history of women’s involvement reveal that women are significantly under-represented in policing when compared to other professions—even though prior research has strongly suggested that women are important actors in establishing post-conflict democratic order. This article outlines the political, social and institutional challenges that are faced to achieve significant gender representation in national police forces. It also recommends countering these challenges by using a ‘women-oriented’ approach. Such an approach does not merely fulfil the aspirational UN goals of achieving greater gender balance, it also yields many practical advantages for improving policing, including 1) leveraging the unique skills that women offer in policing, 2) making better use of force decisions, 3) combatting police corruption and 4) increasing the gender responsiveness of police. Finally, several operational strategies for promoting more women into policing are suggested.
Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.