Need of hour: More women cops in Andhra Pradesh for gender-sensitive policing

The Ministry of Home Affairs set a target of 33 per cent representation for women in the police department in 2009.

Published: 10th October 2021 07:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2021 07:53 AM   |  A+A-

Vizianagaram SP Deepika says presence of women in higher ranks of law enforcement careers debunks inhibitions, thereby helping women feel empowered.

Vizianagaram SP Deepika says presence of women in higher ranks of law enforcement careers debunks inhibitions, thereby helping women feel empowered. (File Photo)

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: Though the representation of women in higher ranks of police is not as high as it should ideally be, the induction of more women into the department in Andhra Pradesh can be seen as a welcome sign, which helps promote gender-sensitive policing.

The Ministry of Home Affairs set a target of 33 per cent representation for women in the police department in 2009. As per the data of Bureau of Police Research and Development,  the number of police women across Civil, Armed Reserve and other wings had increased to 3,843 in the State as on January 1, 2020, registering a representation of 5.85 per cent. The women population per a police woman is 7, 516, excluding constabulary Mahila Police. With the inclusion of Mahila Police (constabulary) in the department, women police personnel constitute 24 per cent of AP police with a strength of 14,157 as on December 12, 2020, according to the official website of AP Police. 

Vizianagaram Superintendent of Police M Deepika Patil says, “It is high time the image of policing in people’s mind changed. Policing is a nuanced job. Presence of women in higher ranks of law enforcement careers debunks inhibitions, thereby helping women feel empowered.”

More often than not, women choose not to approach police as they find it difficult to tell their grievances to a male officer.  Many women cops maintained that it has been acknowledged by their male counterparts that the skills and qualities women add to the law enforcement will ensure greater approachability and gender-sensitive policing. 

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Deepika said, “Disha police stations and Mahila police initiatives undertaken by the government to ensure women and children’s safety stand as testimony that increased presence of women in police can have a positive impact on reducing crimes against women.” “More women should be taken into the department to increase their representation in the force. Women who are willing to be a cop should not be hesitant owing to the prejudiced notions and they should come forward to take up police job,” she emphasised.

D Mangamma, a woman police constable, who recently rescued a young woman when she attempted suicide at Thotapalli dam, said the situation used to be grave when it came to gender-specific needs and striking a work-life balance, but things have substantially improved. “Working in the field is not an easy task, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to job satisfaction. And, nothing can beat the satisfaction that comes with making a positive difference,” she said.



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