Changes are being made to the recruitment process of senior officers in the police force in a bid to accommodate more women in Bangladesh Police.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed stated this while addressing a discussion titled "Gender Responsive Policing: An Approach of Bangladesh Police and Role of Bangladesh Police Women Network [BPWN]" in Rajarbagh on Monday.
BPWN President and Deputy Inspector General (Special Branch) Amena Begum presided over the programme organised in assistance with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Speaking as the chief guest, the IGP said Bangladesh is now a role model for development, and has become so especially during the last 12 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He said, "We are improving economically. One of the reasons behind the development is the participation of women in the economy. Women are the artisans of breaking the shackles of poverty."
"There have been many changes in gender policing in the last 10-12 years. It is difficult to meet the demands of the age in the current civil service system. Therefore, changes are being made in the recruitment process of senior officers in the police with an aim to increase the number of women police officers," he added.
"The number of women police on the force is already on the rise. Only 7% of the Japanese police force is comprised of women, but we have around 7.9%. We earlier set a target of 15% of the police force being comprised of women by 2015. But as we did not reach the goal, I advised BPWN to go to schools and colleges to encourage women's participation in the police. Many people think that being a member of the police force is not a secure job, we have to break this idea," he continued.
"We do not want to copy the policing system of another country, because the conditions of our country, social system and traditions are completely different. There were harassment stories at the airport at one time – the scenario has changed. The police are doing very well there by international standards," he said.
"Many changes have taken place in the field of gender policing in the last 10-12 years. We launched the Women Support Center a long time ago. We have launched a Victim Support Center too. Not only victims, but also their children are being taken care of by the police there," he added.
"Numbers are very important in quality policing. We need quality policing. We are trying to change the policy of joining the police. If that is possible, many changes will come," the IG continued.
Additional Inspector General of Police Md Moinur Rahman; Nguyen Thi Ngoc Van, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh; UN Women Bangladesh Country Representative Shoko Ishikawa; and Bangladesh Civil Service Women Network Secretary General Shaila Farzana were also present at the event.