Women and policing in the South Pacific: a pathway towards gender-inclusive organizational reform

AUTHOR(S)
Melissa Bull
Danielle Watson
Sarah N. Amin
Kerry Carington
Security

Scholars have been critical of the gender-biased nature of policing, and its effects on service delivery. They highlight how law enforcement is male-dominated, and how this impacts negatively on women as offenders and victims of crime. Such criticisms have mobilised international and national institutional support for more gender equitable representation in policing agencies. A growing body of research has addressed the impact of increasing the numbers of women police, and how this might lead to more sympathetic and less gender prejudicial policing. This paper reports on a study commissioned by the Tuvalu Police Service that explored public perceptions of service delivery. Our analysis spotlights perceptions about women in policing, attitudes in relation to preferred officer-gender in calls for service and views on increasing the number of women employed as police. The findings identified clear support for increasing the number of women police, but ambiguous sentiments in relation to the types of roles female officers could perform. Closer analysis of qualitative data, however, revealed an appreciation of the strengths of women police who, in a context characterised by regulatory pluralism, were able to address the needs of female victims and offenders in ways that male officers could not.

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Research Type(s)
Journal Article
Submitted by Anita Togolo
September 29, 2022
Published in
2020
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